Thursday, May 6, 2010

Impunity. With or Without?

I have lived most of my adult life wondering if I'll ever get to use the word "notwithstanding" in daily conversation. Just once I would like to say, "that notwithstanding, I think . . ."

There is another word I admire, but from a distance, and that is the word "impunity." Even in the appropriate setting, when someone or something is wrongly going unpunished, I always want to say "without impunity," instead of  the correct "with impunity." Probably, because it would be correct to say "without punishment."  But the "im" means "without" or "free from" and "punity" is from the Latin, "poena," meaning "punishment."

There is a proper use of the phrase, "without impunity," I do believe, but I am certain I will never get my mind around the need for this double negative.  It's a kind of algebraic thinking that I have trouble with.

Like this season's LOST and the parallel worlds of existence in two space-time continua. That drives me batty.

C'mon, pick a world and stick with it. With impunity. Or something.


Jennifer said...

Amen!! My husband skipped a couple of seasons and said because of that he couldn't figure out what's going on - I watched every show and still have no idea. That notwithstanding, I'll keep watching until the end.

Jake Good said...

But the best part about LOST is Jack finally becoming verisimilitude.

20 points!

Jake Good said...

Btw, I could totally be using it wrong... see, I grew up in the Midwest where ACT > SAT... In fact, I never took the SAT exam; but I digress. My point is, is that my vocabulary and usage of said vocabulary is probably below par.

But I can find derivatives of functions...

Francis Shivone said...

Jenn -- I'm with your husband. The time travel whatever it is drives me crazy.

Excellent use of "notwithstanding." I am envious.

I'm still watching, too.

Jake: I love the word verisimilitude but have never used it because I only kind of get it. Thanks for sending me back to the dictionary. I'll give you the 20 points for trying.

John said...


Lynn said...

Francis, I got to type "notwithstanding" (used properly) in a discovery summary yesterday. I thought of you!

(@ John: people who say "irregardless" or "additionally" should be sent to live in the frozen "artic".)

Francis Shivone said...

Thanks for the news, Lynn. Well done. I am still waiting for the right opportunity.