Monday, December 28, 2009


My Little Friend asked me this morning if "exceed" is a real word. I told him it is, and that it means "go over" as in go over the speed limit. He said, "Okay, so it's the same as 'transcend'".

My first thought was "transcend?". Where did he learn the word "transcend"? And I told him that no, "transcend" means to overcome, as in overcome an obstacle or a hardship.

Go/over. Over/come. I thought about this quite a bit while I was driving home from Austin today. There are so many words that have just a shadow's difference in meaning. Come. Go. Over. I love this about language. I love the dictionary. I could spend hours going from one word to the next in a big chain just to see if it eventually loops me around to the first word I looked up. So when I got home tonight I looked up "transcend" in the dictionary.

Sure enough, one of its meanings is "exceed". And again I'm left to wonder if it was all just a test invented by my Little Friend to prove to himself again that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

1 comment:

  1. Jake definitely needs to become an attorney!

    One time I was talking to Allie and Eric and Amy and she (Allie) was arguing with her dad. Her mom said something and she argued with that. I said, you need to be a lawyer--you certainly love to argue--she said, no I don't. We all cracked up.