Weekly Word Archives

Weekly Word 21 April 2015

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015); editing by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)
Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015); editing by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)

Shout-out to Kevin, who did this while on a business trip in China! You are truly amazing.

| ˈadvəkəsi |

Today’s Word is very apt for this day, because it’s the birthday of one of my dearest and most passionate friends, passionate in what she does – and in doing so, very conscious, service-oriented, and responsible. She just graduated last month and, like me, desires a career – no, I believe she sees it as her vocation – in social development. Happy birthday, Isabelle! 😀

It’s no coincidence that the French word for lawyer is avocat. The English words advocacy and advocate, as mentioned below, did come from Old French, which itself came from Latin. An advocate, from the legal perspective, is someone who puts a case on another’s behalf; advocacy refers to their work. Look at the Latin etymology: it means “to call to one’s aid” – the same root-word of vocare is also the etymology of the English word vocation, or (divine) calling.

Makes it clear why I used to want to become a lawyer.

Back when I first became aware of social justice and responsibility, lawyering was the most prestigious profession in my opinion. They always championed the oppressed, the less fortunate – the perfect way to help and serve others. It’s not by chance, therefore – and it is rightfully so (pun on “right” unintended) – that this legal definition spawned the other definition, the one I am using in today’s context – support of a particular cause or policy.

I like Dr. Martens’ current IMC – revolving around the theme “What do you stand for?” Dr. Martens has always, since its grand début on 1 April 1960, stood for individuality and a desire to be different, to break the status quo – to change the game. The current IMC reflects this very well – and is a consumer-oriented way of advocating advocacy. It reminds us to not simply stumble through this world or work simply for the money, but to remember that there are certain things we as individual human beings are passionate for, that there are certain values and principles we hold most dear.

The Daily Aloy is one such effort advocating advocacy. My personal advocacies are personal social responsibility, specializing in environmentalism and all-natural living; social enterprise; and multilingualism – but those are things I stand up for as an individual. It wouldn’t be fair to expect you, dear reader, to stand up for the same (although if it happens that you do so too, then we are soulmates). You have your own advocacies based on your own life experiences. As such, although I primarily write on living a socially responsible life as I believe it our duty to live in such a manner, I am also for your discovering what you stand up for, and how it can be conscious, service-oriented, and responsible.

What do YOU stand for?

What do you stand up for? Comment below!


noun (mass noun)

  • public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy
  • the profession or work of a legal advocate


Late Middle English, via Old French from medieval Latin advocatia, itself from advocare (“to summon”, “to call to one’s aid” – ad [“to”] + vocare[“to call”]).

In other languages

  • Bahasa Indonesia: pembelaan
  • بهاس ملايو:
    • ادۏوكاسي (advokasi)
  • Cebuano: adbokasiya
  • Deutsch: die Eintreten; die Befürwortung
  • Español: el apoyo (support); la defensa (legal)
  • Filipino: pagtatanggol
  • Français: le plaidoyer
  • 한국어: 옹호 (ongho)
  • Italiano: lo appoggio (support); il patrocinio (legal)
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ: ការតស៊ូមតិ (kar tsaou mte)
  • Latino: patrociniumadvocare
  • မြန်မာဘာသာ: ထောက်ခံလှုပ်ရှားမှုမှာ (htouthkan lhuutsharrmhumhar)
  • 日本語: 擁護 (ようご); 鼓吹 (こすい) (support); 弁護 (べんご) (legal)
  • ພາສາລາວ: ສະຫນັບສະຫນູນ (sanabsanun)
  • ภาษาไทย: การแก้ต่าง (kār kæ̂t̀āng)
  • தமிழ்: வாதிடும் (vātiṭum)
  • Tiếng Việt: chức trạng sưlời biện hộ (legal)
  • 中文: 擁護 / 拥护 (yǒnghù); 鼓吹 (gǔchuī) (support)

Let's chat :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.