last writes

A document mentioned that someone was unable to return to his home country to perform “last rights” for a dying or dead parent. 

Rights are legal or moral; rites are religious or social (compare rituals). Overall, rights is far more common, but last rites is far more common than last rights (“This government is taking our last rights away from us!”). There is very rarely a last rite, and a last right is almost non-existent. (Compare last right, as is “This party will last right through the night!”.)

One type of rite is a rite of passage, which term was coined by Arnold van Gennep in 1909, but didn’t become popular until the 1960s. A right of passage is a term from maritime law, but may also refer to an easement on land (also referred to as a right-of-way).


5 thoughts on “last writes

  1. In addition to write/right/rite, there’s also sight/site/cite … and “cite” is a potential self-antonym, since one can be cited for either positive or negative actions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cyte, cite, site, sight

      I need to think more about whether I use cite for positive or negative actions. My first thought is that I only use it for academic references.

      (PS WordPress has changed its settings. Previously a URL appeared as underlined text. Now it appears as a whole preview, which I don’t like but can’t find any way of changing.)


  2. If you type “cited for” into Google’s search box you can see examples of both kinds of citations (but not Chevy Citations).

    I also noticed URLs being converted into embeds, which is advantageous for YouTube links but probably not other things. Let me try something here…






    • I’m not sure what you were trying to accomplish there!

      The only non-academic use of cite in Australian English I can think of comes in the sport of rugby league, when players are officially reported for serious breaches of the rules of play (eg head-high tackles, deliberately kicking another player) and required to attend an official hearing some days later, with penalties including suspension for a number of games, or a fine. Rugby league uses ‘cite’ and ‘judiciary’ (but it’s not a court) and Australian football uses ‘report’ and ‘tribunal’.
      I would not say, for example ‘cited for a traffic violation’; I would say ‘booked for speeding’. Also, being required to attend court is usually ‘summonsed’ (ie served a summons), though I would say ‘summoned’.
      I thought that the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man receives a citation, but checking the scene in the movie, it’s actually a testimonial, which is what I would say, except it’s not a common thing in Australia.


  3. I was trying to see what would happen if I enclosed a URL with HTML tags inserted around the “:” to prevent it from being turned into an embed. Regrettably, I chose a URL that doesn’t get transformed into an embed plus HTML tags that add extra formatting. OK, let’s try this. Here’s a random YouTube link that might be related to this thread:

    The above should turn into an embed. But if I do this:

    it should show up differently.

    There should be some online WordPress help to help explain how input is processed and how to do this – maybe you have access to it?


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