In Latin is where we find the etymological origin of the word diligence. Specifically, it is the result of the following elements of said language:
- The prefix “di-“, which comes to indicate separation.
- The verb “legere”, which can be translated as “separate or choose”.
- The suffix “-nt-“, which is used to indicate “agent”.
- The suffix “-ia”, which is used to show a “quality”.
Stagecoaches used to have a regular service and fixed itinerary.
What is an errand
Diligence is a term with various uses. It could be a carriage or large car that is drawn by horses and that allows the transfer of people. For example: “Last night I saw a Wild West movie where Indians attacked a stagecoach”, “My dream is to take a stagecoach ride”, “The stagecoach stopped and Billy the Kid soon showed up to rob its occupants”.
The stagecoach, therefore, was a common means of transportation in ancient times. The usual thing was that they completed a regular service, with a fixed itinerary, linking two remote populations.
Usually the stagecoach was divided into three departments. The front part of the carriage, known as a saloon, had three seats, side doors and glass windows at the front. In the center of the carriage, the interior had two transverse seats and side doors. The rear, called the rotunda, featured two side seats and a central rear door.
In general, in a diligence three sectors or departments could be distinguished.
A John Ford movie
One of the most important films in the history of cinema is entitled “The Diligence”. It is a western of the year 1939, directed by John Ford and carried out by John Wayne. It was awarded two Oscars (best music and best supporting actor for Thomas Mitchell) and tells of the adventures faced by travelers on a stagecoach that goes from Dallas to New Mexico.
These are characters that are very different from each other and must forge close ties to be able to come out unscathed from the problems that will appear along the way. Among them are a prostitute, a doctor with alcohol problems, a banker, a former soldier or a pregnant woman.
Diligence as a request, procedure or care
Another use of the notion of diligence, on the other hand, is associated with an administrative procedure, an application, a business or a dependency. Diligence, in this sense, can be associated with a job: “Natalia, can you come to my office? I have to request an errand from you”, “I complete the errand that the doctor asked me to and then he returned home”, “The errand took me three hours, but I have already finished”.
With this meaning, the term that concerns us is widely used within the judicial field and law. In this case, it is used to refer to the action carried out in any civil or criminal procedure by the official who has the position of court clerk. Likewise, there is also the figure of the notary of proceedings, which is the one who undertakes tasks in matters of judicial decrees or execution of orders, for example.
Diligence is also the care in the execution of something, promptness or haste: “I thank you for your diligence to solve the matter”, “The task would not have gone well without your diligence”.