Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Words I'm Not Looking Up (Because the Magical Fantastical Computer Box Thingy Is Looking Them Up for Me)

sui generis

Reading Paul Krugman's Sunday New York Times column today (better late than never), I came across this "sui generis." Terms like this used to frustrate me and make me feel like a dink for not taking Latin. But thanks to the magical, mystical computer box thingy, my days of stumbling over words like qua and quo and pro and ipso may be over.

I moved my cursor over the unfamiliar term and one of those little question marks popped up. It was a link straight to an online dictionary that said:

su·i ge·ne·ris (sū'ī' jĕn'ər-ĭs, sū'ē) adj.
Being the only example of its kind; unique.

He was talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger, by the way, and not 24 hours after I saw my esteemed governor buck naked in CGI form on the big screen, his fiscal assets obscured only by a little mist.

He's sui generis all right. And, though I don't know Latin, I'd venture to say that he's lots of things with the word "corpus," too. (Though lately his posteriori is looking a lot less delicto.)

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