IATE Term of the Week: Enlargement

June 28, 2019 11:51 am

Enlargement: the action or state of enlarging or being enlarged

The notion of enlargement could by no means be considered a new one. Looking at the etymological origins of the word, the verb ‘enlarge’ seems to first appear in the 1530s as a word of the Middle English language. The original meaning of the verb ‘enlarge’ was to ‘release a prisoner’. But every time a verb appears describing an action, then the action itself needs a word to be expressed independently as well.  So, by the addition of the suffix ‘ment’ which is a typical suffix of the English Language for the creation of derivative nouns, the word ‘Enlargement’ was born, bearing a meaning similar to its generating verb.

Therefore, ‘enlargement’ in the 16th century meant the action of releasing a prisoner. It was about two centuries later that the art of photography gave the word ‘enlargement’ an additional meaning. Enlargement was the word also used for the technical term which described the action of making a photo of a larger size than its initial negative form.

The photographic sense of the world has remained unchangeable. But the original meaning of releasing the prisoner into his/her freedom, has given its place to the literal meaning of the adjective ‘large’. So, enlargement is the noun used to describe any kind of increase, augmentation, and action of making something larger.

One thing seems to be certain though. Enlargement has entered the field of politics nowadays, holding the meaning of the growth in membership of political entities.

The challenge of Enlargement in Europe

A country can become an official candidate once it meets basic political, economic and reform criteria. It can then start formal negotiations on 35 chapters covering many different policy areas with the EU. Once negotiations and reforms have been completed, an Accession Treaty is finalised, which needs to be ratified by all existing EU member states and the country itself before the country can join the EU.

According to the Enlargement Strategy Paper published on 6 February 2018 by the European Parliament, 2025 is the year which is cited as an indicative joining date for Serbia and Montenegro, with the rest of the Western Balkans following.

References:

Western Balkans: the next wave of EU enlargement? | News | European Parliament. Western Balkans: the next wave of EU enlargement? | News | European Parliament. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/priorities/enlargement/20180126STO94113/western-balkans-the-next-wave-of-eu-enlargement. Published January 31, 2018. Accessed June 28, 2019.

Enlargement (n.). Index. https://www.etymonline.com/word/enlargement. Accessed June 28, 2019.

Enlargement. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlargement. Published November 24, 2018. Accessed June 28, 2019.


Written by Maria Papamargariti, Greek and English Philologist, Substitute Teacher in ISL School (Luxembourg) and Study Visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament in Luxembourg. She holds a Bachelor in Greek Language and Literature (Philology) and a Bachelor in English Language and Literature, both from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She has published three books in the field of children’s literature, Books publication link. She speaks English, French and Greek. At present, she is completing her Master Studies in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts in the University of Luxembourg.

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