Does responsibility come from response-ability ?
Haven’t checked the etymology but I like the idea.
It shifts the sentiment of the word from a burden / being expected to do something / powerless, to control / being able to choose your actions and how to response / powerful.
Quite a useful reframe.
OK, all words have the same root in French, meaning “to answer”. Makes sense.
c. 1300, from Old French respons (Modern French réponse) and directly from Latin responsum “an answer,” noun use of neuter past participle of respondere “respond, answer to, promise in return,” from re- “back” (see re-) + spondere “to pledge” (see sponsor (n.)).
“condition of being responsible,” 1787, from responsible + -ity. Meaning “that for which one is responsible” is from 1796. Related: Responsibilities.
1590s, “answerable” (to another, for something), from obsolete French responsible (13c., Modern French responsable, as if from Latin *responsabilis), from Latin respons-, past-participle stem of respondere “respond, answer to, promise in return,” from re- “back” (see re-) + spondere “to pledge” (see sponsor (n.)).
Meaning “accountable for one’s actions” is attested from 1640s; that of “reliable, trustworthy” is from 1690s. It retains the sense of “obligation” in the Latin root word. Related: Responsibly.
This is definitely one word substitution I’ll start applying.
Also published on Medium.