Earlier today, I was talking politics with a friend and the question of supporting President Donald Trump came up. Should you support him in this time of crisis because he is the president, even though you don’t agree with him? In doing so, are you supporting the country for a greater good, or just him politically? Or do you think it best to support someone else because you think they can do better?
This got me to thinking about the meaning of support. Knowing how flexible the English language is, I decided to do some research.
As with so many things, it gets complicated. According to the Merriam-Webster website (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/support), support can either be a transitive verb or a noun. As a verb, this site lists six meanings, plus variations.
1 : To endure bravely or quietly
2 a To promote the interests or cause of; to uphold or defend as valid or right; to argue or vote for
2 b Assist, help; to act with (a star actor); to bid in bridge so as to show support for
2 c To provide with substantiation
3 a To pay the costs of
3 b To provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of
4 a To hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for
4 b To maintain (a price) at a desired level by purchases or loan; to maintain the price of by purchases or loans
5 To keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage
6 To keep (something) going
Type “support definition all” into Google and you get five verb definitions:
1. Bear all or part of the weight of; hold up.
2. Give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act; provide with a home and the necessities of life; produce enough food and water for; be capable of sustaining; give approval, comfort, or encouragement to; be actively interested in and concerned for the success of (a particular sports team); (of an actor or a role) important in a play or film but subordinate to the leading parts; (of a pop or rock group or performer) function as a secondary act to (another) at a concert.
3. Suggest the truth of; corroborate.
4. Allow the use or operation of (a program, language, or device of a computer or operating system).
5. Endure; tolerate.
So, if you say you are supporting the President, are you promoting his interests? Are you giving him assistance? Or are you merely enduring, bravely and quietly?