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Opening Arguments

The ultimate word on penultimate

I was heading into full language-watchdog-geek mode when I started reading all these reviews of the new Harry Potter book by critics who obviously liked it and kept referring to it as the penultimate book in the series. Alas, I thought, professional writers are loose among us who stiil think that "penultimate" means "ultimate," only more so.

Then I did some googling and discovered what many other people apparently knew but I did not, namely that the author has, indeed, said there will be only seven books in the series. So this one, the sixth, truly is the penultimate one.

Geeks should pay more attention to the popular culture, I guess.

Today's quiz: Which is the pre-antepenultimate paragraph of this posting?

That's right, the first one. Oh, wait, I've just added another paragraph, so make that the second one.

More ways than one to be careless ... wait, oh, jeez ...