Procrastination: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

procrastination (n.) Look up procrastination at Dictionary.com1540s, from Latin procrastinationem “a putting off,” noun of action from pp. stem of procrastinare “put off till tomorrow,” from pro- “forward” (see pro-) + crastinus “belonging to tomorrow,” from cras “tomorrow,” of unknown origin.

How could such an important word be of ‘unknown origin’? what humanistic forces were afoot just after the height of the High Renaissance that might have necessitated such an invention? Were the dizzying achievements of the previous years so overwhelming that one needed to invent some sort of relief? By the seventeenth century, the Reverend Walker had written a tract on procrastination, declaring it a sin.   It’s an interesting evolution of thought that first identifies a diet of postponement as a phenomenon and then relegates to some new place in Dante’s Hell.  Particularly since, experts say, the ancient Romans thought deferment, in decision making in particular, was a virtue and a sign of sagacity. If one had time, one might be inclined to write a history of procastination.  Maybe tomorrow – 

 

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About hickson1

Art historian, professor, Italian Renaissance and Baroque specialist
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One Response to Procrastination: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

  1. With my income taxes for this year still un-filed it’s clearly a term I’m familiar with.

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