2. greater than that required or needed; superfluous.
The manner of the Quartermaster had that air of supererogatory courtesy about it which almost invariably denotes artifice; for, while physiognomy and phrenology are but lame sciences at the best, the perhaps lead to as many false as right conclusions, we hold that there is no more infallible evidence of insincerity of purpose, short of overt acts, than a face that smiles when there is no occasion, and the tongue that is out of measure smooth. – James Fenimore Cooper, The Pathfinder, 1840
But you are always given to surprise me with abundant kindness–with supererogatory kindness. I believe in that, certainly. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning to H. S. Boyd, August 14, 1844
Supererogatory stems from the Medieval Latin superērogātōrius, with the root word ērogāre meaning “to pay out.” It entered English in the late 1500s.
To truly be committed to a life of honesty, love and discipline, we must be willing to commit ourselves to reality.
Abandoned by his alcoholic father when he was a child, John Bradshaw (born June 29, 1933) grew up to counsel others on addiction and recovery. He wrote several bestselling self-help books—and hosted PBS programs based on those books.
1. (of a usually complicated technical or computer process) done, operating, or happening in a way that is hidden from or not understood by the user, and in that sense, apparently “magical”: I just downloaded an automagical update to my word processing software that somehow fixed the problems.
According to Sterling, the result “is that I no longer inventory my possessions inside my own head. They’re inventoried through an automagical inventory voodoo, work done far beneath my notice by a host of machines. I no longer bother to remember where I put things.” – Marcus Boon, In Praise of Copying, 2010
The scientific community calls this approach “automagical” … The manufacturer wants us to believe in–and trust–the magic. Even when things work well, it is somewhat discomforting to have no idea of how or why. – Donald A. Norman, The Design of Future Things, 2007
Automagical entered Engish in the 1980s. Its first element, auto, stems from the Greek autómatos meaning “self-moving”; magical can be traced to the Greek magikós.
Life is full of strange absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true.
Italian novelist and poet Luigi Pirandello (born June 28, 1867) was born in Chaos—to be more specific, the Sicilian suburb of u Càvusu, or Chaos in English. Perhaps fittingly, he grew up in the aftermath of the tumultuous Expedition of the Thousand, a conquering campaign that ended the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.
Happy birthday, Anthony Bourdain! The American chef, author, and television personality discovered his love of food during a family vacation in France. He stopped by an oyster fisherman’s boat, felt adventurous, and tried his first oyster. The rest is (delicious) history.
1. (sometimes lowercase) Slang. most wonderful or exciting: a rock band that was regarded as Endsville in the late fifties.
2. (sometimes lowercase) Slang. (of a location, circumstance, etc.) most isolated or undesirable.
She responded by flinging her arms around his neck. “Curtie, it’ll be endsville!” –Arthur Hailey,Hotel, 1965 Here is the Twinkies and Thunderbird generation for which ”endsville” was the super superlative and stealing hubcaps was the thrill of the night, until the fuzz came. –Alvin Klein,”Darien’s ‘Grease’ Catches the Mood of a Decade,” New York Times, June 10, 1990
Endsville is an extension of the slang expression the end, meaning “the ultimate; the utmost of good or bad.” It entered English in the 1950s.
Yea, all things live forever, though at times they sleep and are forgotten.
H. Rider Haggard
Long before J.K. Rowling introduced readers to the villainous He-who-must-not-be-named, English writer H. Rider Haggard (born June 22, 1856) gave us She-who-must-be-obeyed, an ancient queen and sorceress, in his 1886 adventure novel, She.
When it’s gone, you’ll know what a gift love was. You’ll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it.
Happy birthday, Ian McEwan! While the British author is best known for his epic family saga Atonement, his first two novels earned him the nickname “Ian Macabre.” So consider yourself warned: Cement Garden and Comfort of Strangers are not for the faint of heart.