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Guest Jason the Foreigner

Why it is named motion?

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Guest Jason the Foreigner

Does anyone know why it is called a "motion" what is in fact a proposal?

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Guest Jason the Foreigner

But it should have had some sense when a word is chosen over another.

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My point is that the word was chosen more than a century ago.  This a historical question.

Of course, some of the folks here are history buffs as well, so the complete answer may be forthcoming.

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2 hours ago, Guest Jason the Foreigner said:

Does anyone know why it is called a "motion" what is in fact a proposal?

I don't have the slightest idea. This term is used in both parliamentary procedure and in law, and appears to have been in use in both for quite some time. It appears that the term was used to refer to a proposal in the parliamentary procedure of the British House of Commons at least as early as 1581 - and presumably much earlier, as it seems to have already been a well-understood term at the time of the entry in question.

"In 1689, the small book Lex Parliamentaria (London), variously attributed to George Petyt or George Philips, listed as references thirty-five earlier parliamentary works or sources. The book—a pocket manual prepared for the convenience of members of Parliament—includes entries from the Journal of the House of Commons relating to procedure, of which the following examples illustrate the gradual evolution of parliamentary law and are readily recognized as early wordings of present-day principles and rules:

• One subject at a time: 1581. When a Motion has been made that Matter must receive a Determination by the Question, or be laid aside by the general Sense of the House, before another be entertain'd. (p. 158.)" (RONR, 11th ed., pgs. xxxiii-xxxiv)

Edited by Josh Martin

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The term is related to things like, "The music was moving to me."  It means to stir up one's affect.  In ancient times, it was used when a subject prayed for a favor from his sovereign.  Later, the term was used in the law courts to pray for a favorable response to a request.  Finally, the term came to be used in the English Parliament to pray the house to act favorably.

The noun form, "motion", is formed from the Latin verb, movēre, "to move".  The perfect passive participle is motus -a -um.  "Motion" is formed by adding -ion to the stem, mot-.  This formation is very common in English.

Edited by Rob Elsman

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I can't provide authority, but I was once given an anecdotal explanation by a British colleague...he was much more precise and used something akin to Chaucer's prose; I am paraphrasing.

At the north end of the floor of the House of Commons, just in front of the Speaker's chair, sits the Clerk's table.   There were/are several functions that Clerk performs, but one of them is calling up each item of business in its turn and helping the Speaker keep track of the pending business.   In the early days of Parliament, if you -- the King, Clergy, or MP -- wanted to introduce a bill [or other proposal] it first had to be "Tabled"* -- the resolution was given to one of the Table Officers [Assistant Clerks] and at the appropriate time you would rise and ask that it be "moved" to the Clerk's position at the head of the table for reading.  

*Some of you parliamentary historians may recall the famous "war room" incident during World War II when the Brits wanted to "table" a decision and the Yanks mistakenly thought they wanted to postpone the matter.

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Guest Jason the Foreigner
On 6/28/2020 at 9:28 PM, Rob Elsman said:

The term is related to things like, "The music was moving to me."  It means to stir up one's affect.  In ancient times, it was used when a subject prayed for a favor from his sovereign.  Later, the term was used in the law courts to pray for a favorable response to a request.  Finally, the term came to be used in the English Parliament to pray the house to act favorably.

The noun form, "motion", is formed from the Latin verb, movēre, "to move".  The perfect passive participle is motus -a -um.  "Motion" is formed by adding -ion to the stem, mot-.  This formation is very common in English.

Yes, Mr. Elsman, this is the first meaning coming to my mind too. It suggests sensibility on the part of addressee and implies affecting and arousing of emotions as the aim of procedure and thus refers us to purely rhetorical understanding of it.

But my second, and I hope more accurate guess, is that it is somehow related to the notion of instrumental cause of Thomas Aquinas. That mover is akin to minister, translating God's motion, and then the audience, after due consideration may accept God's will and acclaim the rightness of proposal.

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