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You’d be staggered to learn how many times I’ve heard the word abysmal used to describe my sports, artistic (including visual arts, music and literature), and intellectual efforts. Or maybe not so much staggered as astounded. Alright, astounded is not quite the right word either, is it? How about surprised? No? You expected it?

Well, never mind. People say it because my performance in those areas is on the abysmal side. However, on the plus side, I’m somewhat competent at breathing. I only wheeze occasionally and, on most days, I don’t choke on my saliva more than two or three times. So there’s that.

To put it simply, abysmal means very, very, very bad.

The dictionary bundled with the Mac OS/X operating system, although not The New Penguin English Dictionary (1986) that I’m using to drive this project, says that abysmal can also mean very deep. That’s derived from the word abyss, which will be the next entry published in this project.

Maybe that’s what people mean when they describe my intellectual pursuits as abysmal. Maybe they mean that I’m a very deep thinker. Probably not.

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