Jun 15, 2009

WORD OF THE WEEK: Copious Resources

For this week's word, I decided to dust off my old-fashioned, hand-held dictionary and look up a word I saw in print over the weekend that made me inwardly smile:

According to my 1995 edition (old-fashioned!) Webster's New World Dictionary, copious is an adjective that means, "plentiful; abundant." It comes from the Latin word copia, also meaning "abundance" (as in cornucopia, the "horn of plenty" often displayed at Thanksgiving time in the U.S.).

Copious often has a bit of a negative connotation, similar to the word inundate ("to cover with or as with a flood; deluge"). We hear about graduate level college courses that require "copious amounts of note-taking" and the "copious overtime" involved in meeting certain work deadlines. Copious downtime can be a bad thing for many people, just as can copious toys and games that overtake a child's play room. Synonyms include superabundant, profuse, full, extensive, generous, lavish, numerous, and even overflowing.

So, when can a copious amount of something be a good thing?

That, as with anything, depends on your perspective: To the child, copious amounts of toys and games are a mecca of fun; to the workaholic and the ardent student, copious work and course loads represent true satisfaction. And to me, copious words being added to my vocabulary are truly heaven-sent! What's the "good thing" that you can never get too much of ...? (Hint: I also like copious comments!)

(c) KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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