Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Word of the Day from M-W: perpend \per-PEND\
1 : to reflect on carefully : ponder; 2 : to be attentive : reflect

"Perpend" isn't used often these days, but when it does show up it is frequently imperative. As such, its use can be compared to the phrase "mark my words." "Perpend" arrived in English in the 15th century from the Latin verb "perpendere," which in turn comes from "pendere," meaning "to weigh." Appropriately, our English word essentially means "to weigh carefully in the mind." "Pendere" has several descendants in English, including "append," "compendium," "expend," and "suspend." "Perpend" can also be a noun meaning "a brick or large stone reaching through a wall" or "a wall built of such stones," but that "perpend" comes from a Middle French source and is unrelated to the verb.

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