Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nonplus

Nonplus (DD definition link)

There is a definite need for a word which means that "no more" can be said or done for whatever reason, however, this isn't that word. By the time the word got out of it's flat etymological roots, it took on a meaning of being too bewildered, confounded, or perhaps, just plain stupid, to say or do anything more. But I would never be nonplussed at oral argument. I would just be done. There wouldn't be anything more to be said not because I suddenly took leave of my senses, but because I would have said all that I needed to say. Perhaps after my three day, double whammy bar exam extravaganza, I was nonplussed, in the sense that I couldn't function properly, I was so effete, [Ed. note: I still don't think this word works for anything other than the debased meanings now.] but I'd still probably chose to describe that time with more obviously demonstrable words, like that I was a zombie. Plaintiff's counsel because so nonplussed with Defense counsel's cross-examination that he could not object? When I'm done cleaning the kitchen, am I nonplussed in my task? The problem with this word is that it sounds like it should mean that the person didn't care, and therefore didn't speak or act, as opposed to having nothing more to say or do. Honestly, this word is useless, and on that note, I am nonplussed why anyone would really use this word.

2 comments:

Jordyne said...

I'm frequently nonplussed when cold-called in class... I blame it on my elementary vocabulary!

Lauren said...

Was it that you could say "no more" or that you couldn't say anything at all??? Knowing you, it was the former, not the latter, unless you were the third to be "cold-called" in class. All the "good" answers would have been proffered by then