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Government meaning mind control, as claimed by some[edit]

Dvortygirl why did you erase the discussion for this page? Can it still be accessed or is it permanently gone? Please don't erase the discussion page again as it is useful to read. In particular I am interested in the edit history of this page regarding the alternate meaning of "government" with "govern" as control, and "ment" as mind, aka "mind control". If you consider this to be an incorrect etymology please state why instead of deleting the discussion page, there is room on the discussion page for all views. Thanks, Jamie —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 09:42, 13 July 2009 (UTC).

I was the editor who entered that etymology which you are referring to. I believe I got it from watching a video by Michael Tsarion, who is a well-known conspiracy theorist. __meco 19:20, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
This is the etymology which I entered in this edit (and which was later reverted):
From Latinised Greek gubernatio "management, government", from Ancient Greek κυβερνισμός, κυβέρνησις (kybernismos, kybernesis) "steering, pilotage, guiding", from κυβερνάω (kybernao) "to steer, to drive, to guide, to act as a pilot" + Latin mente "mind", i.e. mind control
__meco 19:24, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
It could also be construed as control WITH the mind.... —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:37, 9 August 2009 (UTC).
That is a possible interpretation of the "mind control" etymology —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 02:01, 14 August 2009 (UTC).
Literary references to the use of the term are necessary to determine this. __meco 17:58, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
(I'm new to this discussion and editing wikis...) I came up with this etymology all by myself. I had never heard it before in my life, and I went to seek out the etymology. I will admit however that a while ago, I was given an etymology of entertainment as possession - entering and holding the mind. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:55, 20 August 2009‎ (UTC).
-mente is used to refer to adverbs.
For nouns, the root is -mentum (see:, also:
I suspect that an "a" has been unnecessarily added to this reference:
Additionally, this source:, indicates that "government" replaced the Middle English term "governance" in 1553, which casts doubt on the conspiratorial "mind" interpretation. By this, I mean there was already a word being used that meant "the act or state of governing". It follows that the replacement was to mean the same thing, not suddenly change to mean mind control.
Moreover, considering that numerous forms of the word such as gubernatorem and gubernationis exist as references to ruling or controlling bodies of the day, the omission of "mind" from these terms suggests that "mind" was not an intrinsic notion when referring to these ruling bodies.
Furthermore, it is problematic to suggest that the suffix is forming what, per the "mind" interpretation, would actually be a compound word. Literally, "mind control" would translate as "mens imperium".
Fragment, abridgment, refreshment, adornment, advancement, dismemberment, disarmament
Are the above to be interpreted as having a root meaning of "mind"? I sincerely doubt it.
Finally, without a historical basis, the "mind control" interpretation constitutes what's known as "folk etymology", a baseless, incorrect assertion of a word's historical roots that may become popularly accepted. As such, it should not be listed in Wiktionairy as the root meaning unless significant evidence to the contrary emerges. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:41, 16 August 2009‎ (UTC).
Hi, thanks for the informative post, I think that ment does signify mind, based on the etymology of ment,, and When ment is added to a word, the resultant word will describe an action of mind, ie. for government, this could be "control with mind", as opposed to control alone, which doesn't imply human/mind involment in the control. This interpretation can be applied to the other words with ment as a suffix. Thanks, Jamie —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 01:05, 24 August 2009‎ (UTC).
Hi, I did check those links before I wrote my initial post:
If you look carefully, "mind" is only mentioned in the second post, which, as I've already pointed out, is used with regard to adverbs. For example, "governmente" would translate as the adverb "governmentally", meaning mindful of governing. In a sentence: We can affect change privately or governmentally.
To reiterate, this is a case of adverbs, not nouns. Where in this link: is mind mentioned?
Now, wiktionary is an interesting concept, but it is a very different bird than wikipedia.
What we exactly have here is, based on this discussion, folk etymology from a conspiracy theorist being accepted as fact and de facto promoted as the true etymology of a word in full absence of any corroborating evidence. Someone coming in and saying, "Well, I do think this noun suffix means 'mind'" while at the same time ignoring that -mente is not the proper suffix is insufficient reason for wiktionary to be displaying a canard.
I'm deleting the false government=mind control etymology. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:11, 29 August 2009‎ (UTC).
It doesn't say "mind control" but it wasn't particularly relevant and the etymology in the article didn't back it up, according to the Ancient Greek, it sort of means "steering" rather than controlling. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:46, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
No worries, as you can see no one has been trying to put the "mind control" etymology on the government entry page. I think it is useful to have a discussion about it on this page, as it seems more than several people are curious about the "mind control" etymology, and looking here can give them some information on it. Even if the mind control etymology is popular I think it should not be on the main entry for Government unless a "folk etymology" section is added. Thanks, Jamie —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 00:05, 31 August 2009‎ (UTC).
Yes, we should keep this discussion open. It is easy to see how someone unused to English etymology could believe a folk etymology like this or like any of the many others that circulate. As with all that survive it has some superficial plausibility. The real issue in my mind is those pushing this. Do they think (or, worse, know) that their audience is so gullible as to accept this or do they believe it without checking? We can perform a modest service by explaining this in whatever detail is necessary. I've had to do the same about Santa Ana wind/Santana wind. This one is easier because there are so many words ending in "-ment" that have come via some vintage of French from Latin, for most of which it is hard to make a "mental" interpretation, no matter how meagre one's etymological knowledge may be. DCDuring TALK 20:55, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the concern you raised about those "pushing the mind control etymology", I don't think there is a conspiracy to push this etymology, rather it is likely that there are unrelated people who have come up with this etymology on their own based on their own experiences, and some of those people will do independant research to learn more about the etymology.. its an alive language, although etymology is by definition from the past, interpretations can change, which becomes the new etymology over time depending on what meaning we the speakers of the language attach to the words. Thanks, Jamie —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 05:24, 17 September 2009‎ (UTC).
But in reality 'govern-ment' IS mindcontrol because it uses propaganda which very much is mindcontrol! —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10:22, 29 August 2011‎ (UTC).
I believe this discussion could be illuminated by integrating the information of the Wikipedia article Governmentality. __meco (talk) 12:56, 21 May 2012 (UTC)


Functionally, "government" can be used as an adjective, e.g. government pay roll, government employee, government vehicle, etc.-- 09:11, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

It's actually just a noun followed directly by another noun. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:25, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Nonstandard eye dialect[edit]

Whoever added this, it's hilarious in an over-the-top way :) --JamesPoulson (talk) 01:34, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

IMO it's very bad to show this to learners before even the definition, and makes us look like a stupid joke. Equinox 01:35, 20 December 2016 (UTC)