There are words — useful words, impressive words — that I have learned a dozen times and continue to forget. Sometimes I only half-forget them, but the result is the same. I must look them up to be certain of their meanings and attendant implications. Here is today’s:

ontological: to do with theories about the nature of being or what exists and the metaphysics appertaining thereto; or “relating to or based upon being or existence”.

You mightn’t think this word comes up a lot; but you mightn’t be an English major then. Many of my never-rememberable words are in the field.


I discovered recently that I had been using the word orthogonal incorrectly. In fact, I was using orthogonal orthoganally to its true meaning.

Now I know better, but I cringe when thinking about the situations in which I may have misused the word.

I am also bothered because I haven’t found a good substitute for the situations in which I used to use orthogonal. “Similar” is close but not strong enough. “Parallel” is good, but too many l’s for the adverb form.

So far, I have settled on “congruent”.

Concurrent (not quite right)

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