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Jigneshbharati
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 7:58:13 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 3,710
Neurons: 19,430
Kofi Annan spoke to truth to power.

I read this

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/what-we-can-learn-from-kofi-annan/
What we can learn from Kofi Annan

What does "spoke to truth to power"?
I don't the grammatical structure of this phrase?
I don't understand the uses of "to" used before "truth" and "power".
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 8:11:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 2,144
Neurons: 13,761
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Jigneshbharati wrote:
Kofi Annan spoke to truth to power.
I read this online.
What we can learn from Kofi Annan

What does "spoke to truth to power"?
I don't the grammatical structure of this phrase?
I don't understand the uses of "to" used before "truth" and "power".


It’s a mistake the phrase is written as “spoke truth to power”.
It means that he reminded powerful people, presidents, chancellors, kings, queens, prime ministers and dictators etc. Of the things that they did which were in his opinion wrong or immoral.
The “to” in truth to power indicates who the truth is spoken too.
A truth is spoken.
Who is that truth directed to .
Those with power.

There is a story of the Roman Emperors who during Triumphs, victory parades would have a slave holding up a Laurel wreath above their heads, at the same time he would whisper in their ear “Momento Mori” or in English “Remember you too will die”, the ultimate truth to power.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 8:11:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 2,144
Neurons: 13,761
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Jigneshbharati wrote:
Kofi Annan spoke to truth to power.
I read this online.
What we can learn from Kofi Annan

What does "spoke to truth to power"?
I don't the grammatical structure of this phrase?
I don't understand the uses of "to" used before "truth" and "power".


It’s a mistake the phrase is written as “spoke truth to power”.
It means that he reminded powerful people, presidents, chancellors, kings, queens, prime ministers and dictators etc. Of the things that they did which were in his opinion wrong or immoral.
The “to” in truth to power indicates who the truth is spoken too.
A truth is spoken.
Who is that truth directed to .
Those with power.

There is a story of the Roman Emperors who during Triumphs, victory parades would have a slave holding up a Laurel wreath above their heads, at the same time he would whisper in their ear “Momento Mori” or in English “Remember you too will die”, the ultimate truth to power.
thar
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 8:15:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,031
Neurons: 93,523
The phrase is
Speak truth to power


Ie don't be intimidated by those in power - tell them what needs to change. Stand up for what is right despite the danger from those in power.

Quote:
Speaking truth to power is a non-violent political tactic, employed by dissidents against the received wisdom or propaganda of governments they regard as oppressive, authoritarian or an ideocracy. The phrase originated with a pamphlet, Speak Truth to Power: a Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence, published by the American Friends Service Committee in 1955. Speak Truth To Power is also the title of a global Human Rights initiative under the auspices of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. Practitioners who have campaigned for a more just and truthful world have included Vaclav Havel[1], Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_truth_to_power


This is an idea, we so both 'truth' and 'pwer' are uncountable concepts with no article.
It is an unusual and literary style of wording - which is partly why it has become such a well-known phrase.

In normal speech have you speak the truth (you don't lie) and to speak to the people who have the power (despotic regimes).


But this is 'truth' - what is right and true, not the self-interest of the ruling elite
And 'power' the people or institutions that have such control over people's lives.



Edit - posted same time. But I have to go back and add 'e's!
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 8:18:45 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 3,710
Neurons: 19,430
Thanks!
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