Etymology of Competent

It is an adjective expressed in the Latin words compĕtens, compĕtentis, associated with competent-em, as the present participle of the verb competĕre, which responds to ‘compete,’ governed by the prefix com-, which refers to the idea of union, and the verb petĕre, which implies the action of pursuing, reaching, fighting, going or searching around something or someone, with obvious roots in the Indo-European *pet-, for ‘to go.’ In turn, the prefix in-, used to denote deprivation, is capable of indicating the incapacity of the individual, forming the pejorative adjective ‘incompetent,’ given in the Latin words incompĕtens, incompetentis.

We can identify this word as the capacity to carry out a task in an ideal way, either at a personal or professional level, within the context of multiple scenarios, and to test ourselves on the basis of the results produced.

In the case of a job interview, it is linked to a person’s resume, noting that this document allows the display of knowledge according to the expected performance. However, education is not a guarantee of successful functionality, which is why an analysis of the applicant’s behavior and aspirations is used.

At the state level, we can observe that many positions are designated as political favors or certain interests, losing the value and recognition of this premise, however, this action does not go unnoticed by society, because the behavior and results speak for themselves. Also, being the relative of a senior public official does not make that person competent for the task in question.

The verb petĕre has a prominent presence in terms such as repeat (stated in the Latin repetĕre), appetite (stated in the Latin appetītus), or petulant (stated in the Latin petŭlans).

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