Today I’ve discovered that there’s a word I’m not fond of. Â It’s not a new, trendy buzzword. Â It’s not some made up word from fiction. Â It’s a word that I’ve used throughout my life, and that it’s only just dawned on me is anÂ awful word… Â sanction. Â Not that the word itself is offensive, either, but that it’s two primary definitions are nearly antonymous.
1.a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule.“a range of sanctions aimed at deterring insider abuse”
2.official permission or approval for an action.“he appealed to the bishop for his sanction”
So, it can be a threat for doing something wrongÂ or it can merit approval. Â Good job, English language, you have failed us yet again. Â This came up because of a headline on Ars Technica that read: “Star Wars officially sanctions Rick Rubin-produced dance album”. Â I assume that by “Star Wars” the author meant “Disney”, but the point remains that the title of the article could work in either meaning of sanction. Â It’s not uncommon for Disney to frown upon unofficial derivatives, thus that was my initial understanding of the headline. Â Apparently I understood incorrectly.