Stereotype – meaning ‘Stiff markings’, read more

Stereotype; recently I got struck by how the word means to apply a simlified image of a people with a given characteristic to all people but how ‘stereo’, in audio seems to mean multiple – as in stereo sound opposed to mono. It seemed to me that it ought really to be monotype, so I decided to find out what exactly the word means.

It turns out that the word ‘stereotype’ comes from the french word ‘stéréotype’ which, in the 1790s, referred to a methed of printing that used a metal plate to stamp the ink onto the paper. This word combined the Greek word ‘stereo’, which meant ‘solid’ and the word ‘type’ (As in typewriter) which means ‘to mark’.

The ‘stereo’ part comes from the proto-Indo-Eropean word ‘stir’ meaning ‘stiff’, in Greek the word became ‘stereos’ which meant ‘solid’ or (and here’s where it gets interesting) three-dimensional. So stereo sound is really used to mean three dimensional sound.

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