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One definition of the word access is: the way to enter or approach a building, area or a place. For example, you might say, “This door provides access to the concert hall’s backstage area.”

Access can also be used to indicate that you are allowed to enter and/or be someplace. An example of this usage might be, “I used to have concert backstage access until they barred me when they found out that my press pass was fake. Then I told them that I was the rock star’s drug dealer and I was granted access again.”

Access can also be used as a verb. For example, “You’ll be allowed to access the backstage area as long as you come bearing drugs.”

Access is also used in computing. In that context it is used as a rough synonym for retrieve, as in, “I’m accessing the drug dealer database to see if this guy is allowed in the backstage area.”

There is one definition of access that I didn’t know until I accessed the definition in my online dictionary. According to the dictionary bundled with the Mac OS/X operating system, access means “an attack or outburst of an emotion: I was suddenly overcome with an access of rage.”

See what you learn by consulting the dictionary? I bet the example provided by the dictionary was quoting a rock star who was suddenly overcome with an access of rage because he learned that his drug dealer was turned away at the stage door. But maybe I’m wrong about that.

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