Friday, December 21, 2018

To Perseverate or not to Perseverate

Train of Thought
Writers are by nature collectors of words, consciously or unconsciously.  When Carol is reading and comes upon an unfamiliar word and can't discern its meaning to her satisfaction through context, she asks "Do you know what ------ means?"  Being normally umbilically connected to a computer, I look it up.  Most recently the word was Perseveration

 Querying the omniscient Google, I discovered the answer.  I present its verb form below.

Perseverate - Repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased.

The verb apparently was coined by German Psychologists circa 1915— need I mention names? But it is the noun that Carol asked about so ...

Perseveration — early 15c., "duration, quality of persisting; will to persevere," from Old French perseveracion "persistence, stubbornness" (13c.) and directly, from Latin perseverationem (nominative perseveratio), noun of action from past participle stem of perseverare (see persevere).  

Note: A synonym is Stubbornness.

Well now we have a familiar word to look at ... 

Persevere – to Continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.

Which brings us to another familiar word ...

Persist – Continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure.

Both words have PER as part of their etymology, but in Persist it is translated as Thoroughly and in Persevere as Steadfastly.  Not quite synonymous.


Perseveration is kinda fun!  

Until next time,
 Tom


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