Tina Brown: So performance anxiety must afflict writers as well as actors.
They want to take on authority and comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable and all that hoo-ha.
He wanted to give a voice to the voiceless, comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
late 14c., "to cast down," from Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare "to damage, harass, torment," frequentative of affligere (past participle afflictus) "to dash down, overthrow," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + fligere (past participle flictus) "to strike," from PIE root *bhlig- "to strike" (cf. Greek phlibein "to press, crush," Czech blizna "scar," Welsh blif "catapult"). Transferred meaning of "trouble, distress," is first recorded 1530s. Related: Afflicted; afflicting.