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June 17th, 2001 - 4:58 a.m.

I'm Currently Avoiding:

Before, after, and during the things I'm going to get to, today and tomorrow are...

June 17 is ........ Watergate Day and Eat Your Vegetables Day (If Nixon had eaten his vegetables, would he have been a better person? Or what about if he hadn't? What would he have been like then? Does it make any difference at all?)

June 18 is ........ International Panic Day (PANIC!!!!!!!!! Whee!)

And now,

Lots and Lots of Words...

approbation (n. shun-the-apes)

1 : an act of approving formally or officially

2 : commendation, praise

Approbation is similar in meaning to approval, and it is also very close to approval etymologically. Both words come to us via Middle French from the Latin verb approbare, which means to approve. Approbation early on meant formal or official approval, and it still retains this sense in certain ecclesiastical contexts. Today, however, we mostly use approbation in the looser sense of approval, admiration, or praise. The related verb approbate means to approve or sanction, and the adjective approbatory means expressing approval or commendation.

fungible (adj. FUN? jab-the-bull)

1 : being of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in the satisfaction of an obligation

2 : interchangeable

Fungible often shows up in legal contexts such as securities and monetary instruments and contracts for goods or commodities. Something fungible can be exchanged for something else of the same kind. For example, we could say "oil is a fungible commodity." That means that when a purchaser is expecting delivery of oil, any oil of the stipulated quantity and quality will usually do, regardless of its source. Another example of something fungible is cash. It doesn't matter what twenty dollar bill you get -- it's still worth the same amount as any other twenty dollar bill. In contrast, something like a painting isn't fungible because a specific, identifiable item must be delivered. In broader use, fungible can mean interchangeable, lacking individuality or sometimes changeable, fluid, malleable.

gratuitous (adj. grant-TWO-i-tuss or grubs-TO-toss)

1 : done or provided without recompense : free

2 : not called for by the circumstances

Like gratitude, grace, and congratulate, gratuitous is a descendant of the Latin word gratus, which means pleasing or grateful. When gratuitous was first used in the 17th century, it meant free or given without return benefit or compensation. Since there are always a few cynics out there who think you shouldn't give something without getting something in return, it's not surprising that the word eventually took on the extended meaning done without good reason or unwarranted. Today, that extended meaning is the more common one.

Gratuitous is a good word. Another one of those words you should use more often. As for fungible...I'd never heard of it, and although it's interesting, I doubt I shall be incorporating it into my vocabulary, because it reminds me too much of fungus. The word fungus just doesn't conjure up pleasant images in my head, and words associated with unpleasant images in my head don't get a place in my vocabulary.

So since I have nothing better to do, and I've run out of ideas, this entry shall be devoted to the mocking of commercial-type things. Okay, so several times tonight, I saw a commercial, if that's what they're called when it's a little thing to advertise some new program of theirs, for Big Brother 2. They called it, "The Most Original Show on Television." There are some Big, and when I say big, I mean enormous, huge, gigantic...that kind of big, problems with that statement. For one, it's Big Brother TWO. If it's got the word two, sequel, second, or anything like that...it's not original! Original implies one of a kind, unique if you will, but it's got a two in the bloody title, so that just doesn't work. Not only that, but wasn't Big Brother the tv show based on some English or German show? So not only is it the Second one, but its a ripoff of some Other show as well? Not to mention the fact that the title isn't original either. Idiots.

The other thing I was wondering concerns this commercial for..."Spirit of the '70's"...at least I think that was the title. I don't know, it was one of those song collections, this one from the 1970's, they're all over the place, don't expect me to remember names damnit! Anyway, the commercial said, "It's an 8-track flash back!" What I want to know is, is it still a flash-back if you weren't alive or don't remember the period of time when 8-tracks existed?

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