Sunday, August 8, 2010




: to a high degree : very

In the seventeenth century the word EMINENTLY was often used in a literal sense to describe things located in high places—the house on the hill, the porno mags on the top shelf in the closet, that sort of thing. Now the word is used more in its figurative sense, indicating a high stature or place in the world. But in the above definition, the word seems to mean neither of these more specific connotations. It just means "very."

So, I'm trying to think of a time in which it would be appropriate to plug the word EMINENTLY in where "very" would normally stand.

I am EMINENTLY tired. Those jeans are EMINENTLY expensive. That tweaker is EMINENTLY fucked up.

I don't know, it just doesn't sound EMINENTLY appropriate.

There is an Eminence, Missouri, elevation 673 ft. This doesn't mean much to me, although I did find out that the highest elevation in the continental U.S. (not counting Alaska's crazy mountains, even though it is connected by land...) is Mt. Whitney, California at 14, 494 ft. The highest point in Missouri is Taum Sauk Mountain at 1,772 ft., sixty-nine miles from Eminence. So, Eminence, Missouri, not so EMINENT, comparatively speaking.

I also discovered that in anatomy, EMINENCE suggests a protrusion. For example:

a Collateral EMINENCE from the hippocampus in the brain,
a Thenar EMINENCE from the thumb side of the hand, and, of course,
an Iliopubic EMINENCE extending from the pelvis

I can't help pointing out that "the thumb side of the hand" sounds a lot like "the dark side of the moon." EMINENTLY amusing.

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