PQ 12.6 — Do I use the word veto to describe something other than an ability to unilaterally end a partner’s relationship — for example, when I give input to my partners about how I feel about their other relationships? If so, why? Is there something about the word that reassures me in a way that negotiation and input do not?
Huh. This question is stumping me, particularly the example given. I would never use the word “veto” to describe the process of giving input to my partner about their other relationships… that seems like total overkill. At the very least a colorful exaggeration. Like if I were to talk about taking baths as drowning myself.
Veto literally means “I forbid” in Latin, so it would seem that banning something would be essential to its definition.
Vetoing a New Roommate
That said, I can think of an example where I use “veto” to mean something other than the ability to unilaterally end a partner’s relationship.
And that would be vetoing someone else as a new roommate. I’m particular about who I live with. I’m open to having more people live with us, but it’d have to make sense. We’d all have to be compatible in that way.
I don’t know if I use that word to describe this ability because it reassures me. It’s just the way that I view decisions surrounding cohabitation — everyone who lives there must agree with the new tenant. If not, then it’s a no go. Veto in this case is a power that everyone currently living there already has, not something I alone possess to reassure myself.
This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions and answers, please see this indexed list.