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The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Thing To Do Today: pretermit.

 To pretermit is to overlook or to ignore something deliberately.

When the English Admiral Nelson put his telescope to his blind eye so he could not see a signal from his commanding officer, that was what he was doing.

In a court of law, details deliberately ignored are pretermitted; if a series of events, such as lectures, are abandoned for a while they also are pretermitted.

Few of us have command of a court of law, a series of lectures, or even the smallest ship, but every email inbox is constantly clogged with offers that are much too good to trust. As we delete them unread, we pretermit them.

Whenever we decide not to bother to make the extra-special pastry for the pie, the one that requires four egg yolks and a variety of flour only available from a farmers' market in the capital city on alternate Thursdays, we pretermit that part of the recipe.

Whenever we decline to answer a phone, or we decide that life's too short to read the safety instructions, or click the acceptance of the Terms & Conditions without actually reading them, we're in pretermiting territory.

It's a great word: not only does it add dignity to laziness, but it has a cool noun associated with it: pretermission.

Enjoy each deed of pretermission today.

Thing To Do Today: pretermit. This word comes from the Latin praetermittere from preter- beyond or exceeding, and mittere to send or release.

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