Common Lexeme

-ket

Keywords: politics

Pronunciation (IPA): ket 
Part of Speech: suffix 
Class:  
Forms: -ket, oluket 
Glosses: scandal, sex scandal 

Description:

The suffix '-ket' is used to create names for scandals. It is a strange feature of Common that it has a derivation specifically for forming names of specific scandals. It is said to be unique to Common and has been borrowed into a number of natural languages.

What few today know is that the -ket suffix actually comes form English. In the 1970s, there was a famous scandal that took down United States President Richard Nixon involving a break-in at the Watergate Hotel in the old United States capital, Washington, D.C. (today uninhabited) that came to be known in the press as the 'Watergate' scandal. While this particular scandal was incredibly dry and inscrutable by modern standards, at the time it was taken very seriously, and it spawned a habit in English of using the ending '-gate' as a suffix to derived the names of a new scandals.

This turn of phase fell completely out of use in British English in the last century, but was borrowed into early Common directly from English, originally in forms like '-get' or even '-gate' and eventually regularised to '-ket'. Its origins have since been completely obscured.

The '-ket' ending can be used to derive words for genera of scandals or for specific scandals. One extremely common derivation is 'oluket', the general word for 'sex scandal'.

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