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The humble beginning of the word "president"

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The History Behind Three Words

When George Washington took power, the U.S. House and Senate debated tirelessly how to address him. Writer Mark Forsyth explains how and why the U.S. leader is called "president."

About Mark Forsyth

Mark Forsyth is the author of The Elements of Eloquence, The Etymologicon and A Short History of Drunkenness. He is the creator of The Inky Fool, a blog about words, phrases, grammar, rhetoric, and prose.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Fiona Geiran and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Web Resources

Related TED Bio: Mark Forsyth

Related TED Video: Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained

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Copyright 2024 NPR

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Fiona Geiran
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Sanaz Meshkinpour
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
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