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Some Things Shouldn't Have Sequels

March 26, 2002 - 5:44 a.m.

I'm Currently Avoiding:

I hate my computer. And I hate my room. I really must question my sanity...why am I staying here for another year? In about 15 minutes, I'm going to waste more of my precious time and procrastinate/work by watching AI and reading for class simultaneously. Mult-tasking is scary. Additionally, I feel compelled to share the fact that I have every intention of adding sugar to the pint? of strawberries I purchased and eating them while doing those other things. Did I buy sugar? Of course I didn't, don't be ridiculous. I stole a lot of those little tiny packets from the dining hall. Well...stole might be a bit harsh. I just took a bunch with me when I left after eating dinner. It isn't stealing if you paid for the meal...and trust me, I've paid entirely too much for the meal there. In fact, for the prices I pay per meal there, I should be able to take the silverware, plates, cups, trays, and chairs home with me if I so desire.

...hopefully there's enough sugar to either put me in catalyptic shock or wake me up. Either way would work.

You know what? Some things just shouldn't have sequels. Case in point: The Hunchback of Notre Dame II...I mean, I didn't even see the first cartoon, but it's just really wrong. Titanic should never, ever have a sequel. That also would be very, very wrong.

tenacious (adj. tuh-NAY-shuss)

1 a : not easily pulled apart : cohesive b : tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance

2 a : persistent in maintaining or adhering to something valued or habitual b : retentive

Tenacious has, for all of its nearly 400 years, adhered closely to its Latin antecedent: tenax, an adjective meaning tending to hold fast. Almost from the first, tenacious could suggest either figurative stick-to-itiveness or literal adhesion. Sticker burrs are tenacious, and so are athletes who don't let defeat get them down. We use tenacious of a good memory, too -- one that has a better than average capacity to hold information. But you can also have too much of a good thing. The addition in Latin of the prefix per- (thoroughly) to tenax led to our pertinacious, meaning "perversely persistent and difficult to get rid of." You might use pertinacious for the likes of rumors and telemarketers, for example.

exemplary (adj. ig-ZEM-pluh-ree)

1 a : serving as a pattern b : deserving imitation : commendable; also : deserving imitation because of excellence

2 : serving as a warning : monitory

3 : serving as an example, instance, or illustration

Since the late 1500s, exemplary has been used in English for things deserving imitation. The word (and its close relatives example and exemplify) derives from the Latin noun exemplum, which means example. Usage commentators have sometimes warned against using exemplary as if it were simply a synonym of excellent, but clear-cut instances of such usage are hard to come by. When exemplary describes something excellent, as it often does, it almost always carries the further suggestion that the thing described is worthy of imitation.

Hmm...time to waste my time with AI...more later, whenever later may be.

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