April 20, 2009

Why procrastinate when you can perendinate?

Wordsmith's newsletter, "A Word a Day," brings us a word that academics need to know.


verb tr. : To put off until the day after tomorrow.
verb intr.: To stay at a college for an extended time.

From Latin perendinare (to defer until the day after tomorrow), from perendie (on the day after tomorrow), from die (day).

The word procrastinate is from Latin cras (tomorrow). So when you procrastinate, literally speaking, you are putting something off till tomorrow. Mark Twain once said, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." In other words, why procrastinate when you can perendinate?

"In Peterhouse the Master and Fellows might now allow a stranger to perendinate for more than a fortnight unless they were certified of his moral character and of his ability and willingness to do the College some notable service."
Thomas Alfred Walker; Peterhouse; Hutchinson & Co.; 1906.

In addition, Wordsmith's "Thought for Today" has a nice thought for writers:

In their youth both Herder and Schiller intended to study as surgeons, but Destiny said: "No, there are deeper wounds than those of the body, -- heal the deeper!" and they wrote. -Jean Paul Richter, writer (1763-1825)


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