Ubiquitous and Widespread – Word For The Day

January 25, 2010

Ubiquitous is as word I keep coming across. One of the writers at the New York Times uses it so frequently it astonishes me.

Actually, I didn’t know what the word meant until today. My mother would be disappointed, she scolded me if I didn’t look a word up in the dictionary that I didn’t understand as soon I came across it.

I didn’t do this with the word ubiquitous. Instead I just figured it’s probably a big word that could easily be replaced with a better (read: shorter) one that actually builds a picture in the mind’s eye my brain can latch onto. Turns out I was right.

Anyway, after coming across the word here (at a mighty fine blog, I must say) for the 6th time in half as many days (that’s 6 times in 3 days for those of you who don’t like doing the math) I decided I should probably look the word up in the dictionary.

I looked here, and found the word means “widespread”. How funny, I thought.  I’ve been seeing this word everywhere, that’s how ubiquitous it is! And the word itself means widespread! Hahaha! I chuckled to myself.

So now I know the definition. But It’s not a word I’ll use myself. A) it’s too commonly used and B) it’s too easily misunderstood. Besides, as I said before, it doesn’t create a picture in the readers gray cells.  So, as widespread and widely used as it may appear, it’s not a word for me.


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