Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I used to say that my definition of an intellectual: someone who can listen to "The William Tell Overture" and NOT think of The Lone Ranger.
My new definition: someone who uses "penultimate" correctly. Les recently asked: "Do you know the meaning of the word penultimate?" I confidently answered but gave the opposite meaning! He told me that he was reading Wil Wheaton's blog and Wil used the word and he had to look it up!
Since then, Les and I have heard penultimate used twice--both times incorrectly!
Tonight, watching "Book Notes", I heard Gertrude Himmelfarb use penultimate correctly! So, you're asking--or maybe not--WHY were you watching Gertrude Himmelfarb--a woman whose writings which are diametrically opposed to your own beliefs? Well, I admit that I always watched William F. Buckley, Jr. also! When the interviewer asked which of her two children was the oldest Gertrude replied, "My son Bill is the elder of the two!" Gotta love a classy correction, even from a Neo-Con!