Tag Archives: writ

“risks important protections”

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, has responded to reports from the Washington Post and the Guardian which broke news that authorities were monitoring data from US citizens via a number of major tech firms.


The Director added that the leak was “reprehensible” and “risks important protections for the security of Americans”.

“Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats,” Clapper further explained.

via US Director of National Intelligence: WaPost, Guardian PRISM reports contain ‘numerous inaccuracies’ – The Next Web.

writ large


penned, recorded, or exhibited in large or prominent characters. Chiefly in fig. use. c1645 MILTON Sonn., On new Forcers Consc. 20 New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ Large.  1868 FARRAR Silence & V. iii. (1875) 56 Let us look beyond them, and see it writ large upon the history of nations. 1877 L. MORRIS Epic Hades II. 117 That my life…Was but a tale Writ large by Zeus.


on a larger scale or in a more prominent manner: “the problems of modern totalitarianism are only our own problems writ large” — Times Literary Supplement

American Heritage

signified, expressed, or embodied in a greater or more prominent magnitude or degree: “The man was no more than the boy writ large” – George Eliot.

The Old English verb “to write” is writan, from a Germanic root *writ- that derives from an Indo-European root *wreid- meaning “to cut, scratch, tear, sketch an outline.” German still retains this meaning in its cognate verb reissen, “to tear.” Only Old English employed writan to refer to writing, that is, scratching on parchment with a pen. English shows a similar contrariness in its verb read, being almost the only western European language not to derive its verb for that concept from Latin legere.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009.


Français : Walter Benjamin en 1928
Français : Walter Benjamin en 1928 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Legal Writ

– Walter Benjamin on legal vs. mythical violence in his essay, ‘Critique of Violence’

– Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben (and Karl Schmitt and… the list is long) on law and mystification, on the state of nature & the social contract, the State/Leviathan, etc.  Primitivism and notions of “progress” are just some of what comes in the wake of these mythical-juridical terrors.



1. a. a sealed document, issued in the name of a court, government, sovereign, etc., directing an officer or official to do or refrain from doing some specified act.

b. (in early English law) any formal document in letter form, under seal, and in the sovereign’s name.

2. something written; a writing: sacred writ.

[before 900; Middle English, Old English, c. Old High German riz stroke, Old Norse rit writing, Gothic writs serif; akin to write]


v. Archaic.

a pt. and pp. of write

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.