Words with contracts

There are some words that are related to the words themselves, or agreements.

Impressed, conscript, enlisted, and draft.

Basically contracts.

Con- meaning ‘with’ and ‘tract’ meaning ‘path’.

So a contract means ‘with the path’, and contracts are used by two parties to agree on the ‘path forward’. So to speak.


So, back in the Royal Naval times of England around 1700s, The Navy would recruit people through ‘impressing’ them.

There was a manning problem in the Royal Navy, because the food suck, people often died, no one really knew how to swim, and a slew of other problems. So people didn’t willingly sign up to leave their life for a pair of sea legs. All of this lead to low manning, which lead to impressment.

Impressment was a recruiting campaign that was basically kidnapping.

Recruiters would go into bars, size people to see if they might survive the sea. Then they would get them drunk, sign some papers, or straight up knock them out. Yes, they literally knocked people out, dragged them on a ship, and they would set sail. Then the ‘impressed’ would wake up on a ship, and be threatened by flogging and death to keep working.

So work, get whipped, or death. Slavery.

And you wonder why mutinies happen, and pirates exist.

A lot of these men would never see their families again, and a lot of families lost their ‘bread winner’ so the family unit fell. People got poor, and that’s a slew of other messes.

This was what it meant to be ‘impressed’ and they called it ‘impressment’.

But what I want to focus on is the press part. Writing words is also called pressing words. Putting pressure to make an imprint of a word. Similar to a printing press.

So impressment, has press, and is related to words.


When someone joins the military, they can be enlisted. They are en- meaning ‘in’ and list. So they are ‘in a list’.

Lists are just a bunch of words. So an enlisted person is on a list of words with other enlisted persons.

Basically a list becomes the manifesto of people that are a ‘part’ of the ‘list’. Another boot on the deck, another gun in the hand, a soldier, a sailor, airmen, etc.

The take away is that the word ‘list’ is related to the written word.


Con- means ‘with’ and script means ‘written text’. So, loosely speaking a conscript is a ‘with a written text’.

Basically a contract.

However a conscript is specific to compulsory or ‘forced enlistment’.

There might even be a ‘draft’ or heavy recruitment campaign. A mandatory recruitment campaign, similar to impressment.

A ‘draft’ is also something that we write. A ‘rough draft’ is a ‘sketch’.

All of these things relate to the written word.


What I’m trying to get at is that contracts are based on words.

You could even argue that society is a bunch of unwritten (moral and implied), and written (law/policies) contracts.

Words that are agreed, even if one side didn’t initially agree (like in impressment).

Our continuation in these contracts, means to some degree, we agree with them.

Or agree enough.

These are agreements, and our language reflects the words.

Words Meant Things

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