My recent post on the topic of The Right To Speak discussed the word ‘jurisdiction’. I want to explore that word a little more today, making a Logophile posting on this significant term. I pointed out there that the expression “the right to speak” means the same as the word “jurisdiction”.
Morphology of Jurisdiction
I pointed out in my posting on the Right to Speak that “jurisdiction” is the convergence of two powerful thoughts. Juris – comes from the Latin word ‘ius’, which means ‘law’. So we have the juris concept of law in such words as “jurisprudence” and “jury”.
Diction – means “to speak”. It refers to speech, words and commands.
Jurisdiction, then, refers to words that have legal authority. In practice that involves “The authority to apply the law.” But note that the authority is linked to the concepts of words and speech in the morphology of the word jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction means “the right to speak”, “speaking words of authority”, “speaking with legal privilege”, and “making law through the spoken word”.
Decrees and Dictums
Since speech is a key component of rule over a jurisdiction it is only reasonable to expect that many legal and authoritative terms refer to some form of speech or other. So consider the following examples of words relevant to authoritative enactments which refer to something spoken.
A Dictate is a directive or a command which authoritatively prescribes something, issues orders or gives commands.
A Dictator is someone who asserts their authority over others in a unilateral fashion, as an absolute ruler.
A Dictum is an authoritative pronouncement.
An Edict is a decree or proclamation issued by an authority and having the force of law. An edict is also a formal pronouncement or command.
A Pronouncement is something that is ‘pronounced’, ie: spoken.
A Declaration is something spoken out.
A Proclamation is also something that is spoken out.
While a Decree is a judgement it is synonymous in usage with the idea of a spoken announcement. Note that sense of a spoken announcement in the Law Encyclopaedia definition of “decree”: “A judgment of a court that announces the legal consequences of the facts found in a case and orders that the court’s decision be carried out.”
It Is Written
Spoken words end up written down and the written pronouncements of an authority are also important components of their jurisdictional rule. Diction can be in text form.
Therefore we have a range of authoritative terms referring to the written pronouncement. These written documents represent the dictates of the ruler.
A Papal Bull is a written document sealed with the Pope’s seal and expressed in a legal format that authenticates its significance.
An Encyclical was originally a pastoral letter from a bishop of the church, but now refers to a solemn papal letter.
Formal Notice is a legal form of advice from one authority to another within a prescribed format and carrying legal significance.
The word Prescribe has the word ‘scribe’ built into it, referring to the written nature of the legal document.
Every Idle Word
In the context of Jurisdiction every idle word has significance. That is why we are warned that we will have to give account for every word that we speak, even those that are said in jest or thoughtlessly.
“But I say to you, That every idle word that men speak, they will give account for in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
Thus the Bible warns us that we must mean what we say. Our Yes must mean ‘Yes’ and our No must mean ‘No’.
“But above all things, my brethren, do not swear, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest you fall into condemnation.” James 5:12
While you may not rule an empire you do have rule over your own life and soul. Your words have the power of life and death over your own self. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, because the tongue dictates what you, as the authority over your life, decree.
There is law in your mouth. Your words determine legal outcomes for your personal existence. Be very careful of the ‘diction’ in your jurisdiction over your own life.