Acclamation

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  • A term derived from the Latin verb acclamare, meaning “to shout.” This word comprises the prefix ad (to) plus clamare (shout). In the Middle Ages, certain street vendors—those who walked through the streets hawking their wares in loud tones or shouting— were known as clamators. We see this type of person on cable television business shows where the commentator walks around the studio recommending (or not) stocks at annoyingly high decibel levels. The word eventually took on the meaning of overwhelming praise manifested through oral praise or applause. The term takes on a particular resonance in the political arena at presidential nominating conventions, where a candidate is said to be chosen “by acclamation.” To give but two examples, George Washington was nominated and elected first ...

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