After President Obama declared Congress was "on the precipice" of passing legislation to reform the nation's health care, the term precipice teetered at 90th place on last month's Most Looked Up List. The 17th century coinage precipice comes from the Latin word for headlong (prae means before and caput means head). The original (now obsolete) meaning of precipice named a "sudden or headlong fall."I do not know about the original meaning of precipice being obsolete, given that Obama just foretold the sudden or headlong fall of ObamaCare! It appears he has revived the original meaning of the word precipice! I must be obsolete myself, since when I read what he said, my immediate image was of him throwing himself, Pelosi, and Reid headlong off a cliff.
22 January 2010
ObamaCare on the Precipice
I just read this from a monthly e-mail by Merriam-Webster: