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Scintilla

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  • Scintilla is a word with an interesting etymology. The etymology of a word is its origin and development through time. We will examine the meaning of the word scintilla, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

    A scintilla is a small trace of something, a tiny particle of something whether it is something physical or something intangible such as an idea or feeling. The word scintilla is borrowed from the Latin, originally meaning a spark, a tiny glimmer of fire. In the 1690s it entered the English language with the meaning a spark, speck or trace. The plural form of scintilla is sometimes rendered as scientillae, following the Latin form of creating plurals. However, scintilla is a Latin word that has been absorbed into English and therefore should follow the English form of creating plurals, in this case simply adding an s as in scintillas.

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    Examples

    Meanwhile, in his own National Post column, Black says that “racism is dying, yet hateful people are still accusing non-racists of it”, and says of President Trump that “the accusation that he has sympathy for Nazis or the KKK is a monstrous falsehood unsupported by a scintilla of evidence”. (The Guardian)

    We know that from the manager of Dublin’s flagship Gaelic football team has, from day one, striven to erase any scintilla of ego from his squad of players. (The Times)

    President Trump told reporters Wednesday there can’t be a “scintilla of doubt” when it comes to the integrity of future elections and attempts by foreign governments to interfere. (The Washington Examiner)

    What right does a man who Justice Lasry said clearly had no remorse, possessed not even a scintilla of a chance of rehabilitation, have to declare he has the right to one day be set free? (The Border Mail)

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