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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
Ever wondered if “postpone” is a word, why there isn’t a “prepone”? Well, there is, though for some reason people outside India don’t feel a need to move events ahead.
And why does the English language have the word warmth, but not coolth? Yet, there’s the word coolth, it’s just not as common as warmth.
And if you think coolth is slang coined by some kid last year, you may be surprised that the word has been in use since 1547, and has been used by the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, Rudyard Kipling, Ezra Pound, and Seamus Heaney.
This week’s A.Word.A.Day may answer similar questions you may have about other words. So you can say, again and again: Yes, Virginia, there’s a word for it.
noun: Doing one thing at a time.
Patterned after the word multitasking. Earliest documented use: 1985 (multitasking is from 1966).
“He stopped everything he was doing and looked up ... going from multi- to unitasking in a flash.”
Leslie Schnur; Late Night Talking; Atria; 2007.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:For a long time we have gone along with some well-tested principles of conduct: that it was better to tell the truth than falsehoods; that a half-truth was no truth at all; that duties were older than and as fundamental as rights; that, as Justice Holmes put it, the mode by which the inevitable came to pass was effort; that to perpetuate a harm was always wrong, no matter how many joined in it, but to perpetuate it on a weaker person was particularly detestable ... Our institutions are founded on the assumption that most people will follow these principles most of the time because they want to, and the institutions work pretty well when this assumption is true. -Dean Acheson, statesman and lawyer (1893-1971)