Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's in a name?

Obviously plenty when it's 'trade'.   The word dates from the 14th century and it came from the Old English tredan = to tread.   It is a little like the Old High German trata meaning track or course.
There are so many uses of the word trade or trades:
  • the rag trade meaning the clothing industry
  • terms of trade as in the ratio of the prices a country pays for its imports to the prices it receives for its exports
  • 'vast crude finds excite oil trade' - presumably all the people involved; drillers, venture capitalists, oil companies etc.
  • international trade - the selling and buying of goods across national borders
  • trades - used on the stock exchange
  • a trade as in bricklaying
  • trade wind - one of the prevailing winds which facilitated the passage of ships carrying goods for trading.
There are almost certainly lots more with slightly different shade of meaning, and you can see that some have a core of that original meaning.  For example when you choose a trade like bricklaying, you choose a path for your immediate employment future.  Or even in 'international trade' there is a track to follow conforming to the rules, Incoterms and so on.

Just thought I would share with you some of my random thoughts...

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