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abandon

People who know the way I think likely expect me to take advantage of quickly reaching the word abandon to abandon my project of providing commentary on every word in the dictionary. But, no, much to my shock and awe, I don’t give up that easily. I always thought I did. Who knew? Although, we’ll see what happens when I reach some of abandon’s synonyms such as stop, quit, forgo, drop, dispense with, or, better yet because it arrives earlier in an alphabetic listing of words, cease.

Of course, abandon doesn’t mean only to give up on something. It also can mean to leave someone or something behind. For example, you might abandon your spouse or children. In which case, you are a the epitome of scumbaggery, now aren’t you? (Note to self: Don’t start coining new words. You might feel obliged to provide a commentary on them.)

Used in a particular context, such as “wild abandon”, abandon also means free from restraint and inhibition. Personally, I don’t like being in the wild—it gives me creeps and raises the frightening possibility of having to interact with wildlife—so I wouldn’t know about this.

Along these same lines, The New Penguin English Dictionary also gives the example of “danced with gay abandon.” This is a somewhat common and perfectly acceptable usage, but because my commentary is appearing on the worldwide web, I think a word of caution is in order. In some ridiculously intolerant, backward, unjust societies, combining the word gay with anything might result in you being shunned and you might not be allowed to get married.

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