The word pragmatic is derived from the Latin pragmaticus, meaning “skilled in business or law,” and the Greek pragmatikos, meaning “fit for business, active, business-like, systematic.” 1 However, in the late sixteenth century, the word took on a much different connotation and was defined as “busy, interfering or conceited.” It wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that pragmatic returned to its original definition. In truth, however, disagreement over the definition of pragmatic exists even today. Synonyms range from practical and matter-of-fact to hardheaded. People proudly claim to be pragmatists, but some consider pragmatism a crime against humanity.
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