What are words worth?
With words, you can build others up or bring them down. You can wage war or proclaim peace; crush or heal; deprive or satisfy. Words can woo a wandering soul. They can bring about demise or breathe life.
Words can mean much or little (and can completely change everything, too), depending on how you use them. Don’t get caught saying you’re bemused when you mean amused. Don’t call something bazaar when it’s really bizarre. And please don’t share about how incredulous your holiday was when it was, in fact, incredible. The former sounds fancy, right? But it couldn’t be more wrongly used in the sentence.
Accuracy is key when it comes to word usage and it is vital to appraise (not apprise) a word by what it means and how it is used.
In the midst of a colossal upheaval to our daily lives, for comfort and assurance—to care and to protect—the Singapore government has introduced four budgets and named them Unity, Resilience, Solidarity and Fortitude. When you look at these words in the dictionary, they may be synonymous—unity and solidarity, resilience and fortitude. What then is the significance of each? And are there differences in these keywords? In fact, some of you may even have seen them used in school or in your test papers. Let’s take a closer look at what these words truly mean and how we can use them!
In the spirit of unity, the government first introduced the Unity Budget. It was a reminder for all of Singapore to be joined as one and the budget was given to cushion the impact of COVID-19.
Meaning: the state of being united or joined as a whole. (OXFORD Dictionary)
Word class: noun
Synonyms: unification, harmony
When a people stand together in unity, they can accomplish anything.
At the NERF Gun Party, Trevor moved in unity with his team as they prepared for an attack against the opposite camp.
When COVID-19 hit us hard, the government introduced the Resilience Budget. In the spirit of the word resilience, the government intends to encourage Singaporeans that we will recover from this crisis and come out strong.
Meaning: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. (OXFORD Dictionary)
Word class: noun
Synonyms: durability, toughness
Nothing spells resilience like a tree growing robust in the expanse of the desert.
After studying overseas and having to overcome various challenges on her own, my sister has definitely grown more resilient.
The Solidarity Budget was released in April and complements measures introduced in the Unity Budget and the subsequent supplementary Resilience Budget.
The word solidarity is closely related to the word unity though its meaning extends further in that it does not only mean oneness—the act of being one undivided entity—but that solidarity is an agreement between and support for the members of a union arising from common responsibilities and interests or that which produces such common interests, objectives, and standards.
Simply put, while a family is united, the act of supporting each other is what shows solidarity.
Meaning: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group. (OXFORD Dictionary)
Word class: noun
Synonyms: unanimity, accord
Sentence example: The feeling of solidarity is heartfelt amongst Covid-19 frontliners and volunteers as they face daily risks in the battle against the global pandemic.
A large crowd gathered at the park to express their solidarity with those fighting for climate change.
Lastly, the central focus of the Fortitude Budget is jobs. The government is saying it wants to do more in protecting the livelihoods of workers. Again, it aims to complement the last three Budgets previously released.
The word fortitude is also closely related to the word resilience. They both mean having courage in facing difficulty. But they are also quite different. While resilience is the ability to recover or bounce back from illness, depression, adversity, or the like, fortitude is the courageous attitude in which one bears these challenges (and furthermore) over a long period of time.
Meaning: courage in pain or adversity. (OXFORD Dictionary)
Word class: noun
Synonyms: bravery, valour
Sentence example: After injuring himself from a bicycle accident during the triathlon, Paul picked himself up and finished the race. His fortitude made headlines.
J.K. Rowling was a lone parent, poor and jobless. She would not have successfully created the best-selling book series in history if it were not for her fortitude.
In summary, as we unite and show solidarity towards one another, we shall one day grow resilient despite the challenges before us. While still in its midst, we shall press on with great fortitude.
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