What's in a Word | All Blogs


Killing time’s benefits

By Debra Dobbins

After she tears her hair out, perhaps Jeremy’s mom can take solace in realizing her son knows what simile is. When he says, “Procrastination is like kryptonite to moms,” he is making a comparison using the terms “like” or “as.” That’s simile.

By mentioning kryptonite, Jeremy is alluding (referring) to something he knows his friend will understand: comic books and movies on Superman, a fictional American icon who has been around since the 1930s.

Kryptonite, an element found on Superman’s home planet, is lethal for the superhero. Bad guy Lex Luther discovers this and occasionally tries to end Superman’s storied career—and life—with it.

Two word parts of “procrastination” hint at its meaning. “Pro” is a word part that means forward, and “crastinus” was a Latin term meaning, “belonging to the morrow,” according to Webster’s. Procrastination means pushing a task forward to another day.

Procrastination is a fault, someone once said, that most people put off trying to correct. For many of us, it is probably worthwhile to heed Ben Franklin’s warning: “You may delay, but time will not."


 

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