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Assuming sortition refers to any form of random event used to choose something or someone, and does not refer to the "random" choosing of something/someone by an exterior person (which would somewhat suggest a faint form of volition). At least I think it doesn't?

Thank you !

  • Don't you mean "random selection"? – Hot Licks Dec 2 '15 at 20:08
  • @HotLicks Could you explain the difference ? Is random selection more general than sortition? – oowekyala Dec 2 '15 at 20:28
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    This crossword solver page gives draw as the answer to the clue/definition select at random. That seems good enough to me. Or in the unlikely event you can rely on your target audience understanding the noun sortition, just apply the standard verbification principle available in English, and use it as a verb. – FumbleFingers Dec 2 '15 at 21:36
  • @FumbleFingers Any chance you could make that an answer (because dang you answer a lot of questions in comments, this is like the third time I've seen you around unanswered ones) – Fund Monica's Lawsuit Dec 5 '15 at 5:16
  • @QPaysTaxes: I'd never even heard of the word sortition before seeing this question, and I've absolutely no idea why OP says the "random" choosing of something/someone by an exterior person suggests a faint form of volition. But I do know that used as a verb in this sense, to draw almost always has a human subject. Even though the "computer" that "selects, generates" winning UK premium bond numbers is anthropomorphised by being called "Ernie", I'm not sure many people would talk about the numbers that Ernie drew last week. So I dunno how OP feels about that one. – FumbleFingers Dec 5 '15 at 13:02
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Right. From a definition of sortition that I find much easier to understand than your wikipedia link, it means:

the casting or drawing of lots

The direct verb form of this would be to draw lots. A more generic (and more common phrase) in English is to randomly select.


With regards to your objection to a person picking from a list not being truly random: it isn't. And if it's not actually random, then it's not random selection. I'm afraid there isn't really a simple word/phrase that differentiates between "random" and "I call it random when it's actually pseudo-random, but I believe it's close enough to random to call it random".

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