Monday, September 06, 2010


FOREORDINATION, n. This looks like an easy word to define, but when I consider that pious and learned theologians have spent long lives in explaining it, and written libraries to explain their explanations; when I remember the nations have been divided and bloody battles caused by the difference between foreordination and predestination, and that millions of treasure have been expended in the effort to prove and disprove its compatibility with freedom of the will and the efficacy of prayer, praise, and a religious life, — recalling these awful facts in the history of the word, I stand appalled before the mighty problem of its signification, abase my spiritual eyes, fearing to contemplate its portentous magnitude, reverently uncover and humbly refer it to His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons and His Grace Bishop Potter.

2010 Update: The transfer of a personal debt onto the divine ledger.


Jim said...

Aren't you going backwards in the alphabet now, Doug? "G"s come after the "H"s.
And such a long and hard word you picked. Goodness, now wonder battle have been fought.
This word is a challenge for the nations and religions but I will lay low.
Have a nice Labor Day. I hope you have the day off? And could sleep in?

Ariel the Thief said...

Foreordination, best excuse. I'd call it forechance, instead. :)

Like your definition, Doug, very elegant!

karen a. said...

Foreordination, n. Magnitude Monday

2010 Update: One for the books

sauerkraut said...

Reminds me... gotta find my Calvin (and Hobbes) book for the wee one.

word veri: subvate

TLP said...

Well, first off, your update is absolutely perfect.

Foreordination sorta means predestination, which must mean going to a place that you've been to previously.

So, I guess foreordination actually means before going to a place that you had predestined to go...zzz I lost my train of thought. Where am I and why?

Anonymous said...

FOREORDINATION, n. - Go ahead make my day :)

Happy Labor Day to you my friend :)

the amoeba said...

FOREORDINATION, n. The ceremony of induction into the golf club. Not to be confused with induction by the golf club, which usually results in a hospital stay, and possibly legal bills.

Speaking of battery, Dawg, thanks for reminding us of the charged debates that used to light up the luminaries of the past. Debates that Time showed us to be of no real consequence. Such as PC vs. Mac, or Liberal vs. Limbaughative.

Doug said...

Jim, this is a lexicon, not a syllabary.

Ariel, I like your substitution.

Thanks, Karen.

Only if you want him or her to grow up right, Sauerkraut.

TLP, this is why theologians are predestined to be boring.

Thom, that's a really witty pun.

Amoeba, I think it's important for modern people to be humble about the great issues that animated our ancestors. We did not, after all, invent pettiness.