Monday, May 18, 2009

Eff Balls

I just realized that I have been writing "per say" for freaking ever (including this here blog). When what I meant was:

per se

Of, in, or by itself or oneself; intrinsically.
(per the American Heritage dictionary on Yahoo)

This is worse that that time I asked Will what "triumvirate" meant when, if I'd just shut up and thought about it for a second, I might have come to the conclusion that it meant 3-something. Which would have been enough and certainly would have saved me the embarrassment of not knowing an 11th grade word. But instead I got to showcase showdown my inability to fake it by using a 2nd grade spelling bee trick (Tri means three, Slo-Mo Dee, not TRY as in, TRY, there is no try. Only Do, or Do NOT, as in shut up when you don't know what a work means, fool). GARRR!


Blogger Flushy McBucketpants said...

you can rest easy in knowing i have no recollection of you asking me what "triumvirate" is. and also, you should rest easy in knowing that it did not exactly mean what i thought it did—three of something associated by greatness (incorrect), as opposed to just three of something (correct)... even though i think i still managed to use it properly in general... i imagine i used it in reference to the grimaldi's–jacques torres–brooklyn ice cream factory triangle of scrumptrulescence.

point being we can all be a little bit ignorant together.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Adairdevil said...

If it helps with the resting easy, Flushy is still wrong. A triumvirate is three people ruling something (formerly, Rome--Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus were the first triumvirate. Thank you, Comp Civ!), not any three somethings. (That'd be a trio.)

Point being, it's better to ask than to continue in error. Your instinct was the right one.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Toby said...

You could have just played it off as though you'd been writing "per say" ironically. That's how all the kids do it these days, I hear.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Flushy McBucketpants said...

i'm pretty sure a triumvirate can be any three somethings... i will do some research.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Flushy McBucketpants said... says:

  /traɪˈʌmvərɪt, -vəˌreɪt/ [trahy-uhm-ver-it, -vuh-reyt]
1. Roman History. the office or magistracy of a triumvir.
2. a government of three officers or magistrates functioning jointly.
3. a coalition of three magistrates or rulers for joint administration.
4. any association of three in office or authority.
5. any group or set of three.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Shiny said...

YES!! Let's have a triumvirate rumble down by the riiiiiver.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Adairdevil said...

If you have to go to definition 5, you've lost the argument. Merriam-Webster (see doesn't recognize the trio, and OED puts it in the last full definition it uses, with the qualifier "less exactly" preceding the definition and a specification within that the trio is "rarely things" (emphasis in original). C'mon, Flushy. If a triumvirate were truly a trio, we wouldn't need the word trio. Yet, we do. They're not synonyms.

"3. Less exactly, A group or set of three persons (rarely things) thought of together, but not necessarily associated in fact; a trio; esp. three persons of authority or distinction in any sphere."

And they can only come up with one apposite use of "triumvirate" for things, and those things are notably not objects, but concepts:

"1 The great triumvirate of Italian poetry, good sense, and culture."

2:48 AM  
Blogger Flushy McBucketpants said...

are you implying that all definitions listed at number 5 and below invalid, that, for instance, only the first 4 of the 25 definitions for "set" as a transitive verb are invalid because they're lower down on the list of definitions?

regardless of the exactness of its use, triumvirate is used to describe three things, even if rarely. and it's used by enough people to warrant entries in both M-W and OED.

don't be such a prescriptivist!

and furthermore, also, moreover, and additionally, there are a number of needless words in the english language. it's what makes writing and speaking well so difficult or hard or tough.

2:34 PM  

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