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accession

Accession has a few different meanings that, at first glance, appeared to me to be unconnected. However, at second glance, they still seem unconnected. But then I spent considerably more time thinking about it and delved deeper into the meanings. And, lo and behold, I still couldn’t come up with any connections between the definitions.

Nevertheless, because I’m a glutton for punishment who probably won’t ever get to the the “g” words to check if glutton is the right word here, before I’m finished this entry I’ll try to stretch to find connections between the accession meanings, likely where they don’t exist.

First—just to be clear, the order of the definitions is irrelevant, but it’s the first one I’m going to mention—an accession is an addition to a collection. For instance, a new book added to a library is an accession. A new stamp added to a stamp collection is also an accession. And, I’m no expert, but I believe that new a turd added to a personal feces collection that you’ve assembled just for the heck of it is a sure sign of mental illness.

Second—again, “second” was just a word I used to introduce this paragraph, without meaning to suggest any ordinal significance—accession can mean the act by which a nation or other political jurisdiction joins a treaty that other countries have already enacted. For example one, or, rather, one who is not a maniacal warmonger, might say, “Hopefully we will one day celebrate the accession of the U.S. to the Ottawa Treaty, the international Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which aims to eliminate the use of land-mines. This would be a positive development because these devices are demons from hell that keep on ripping innocent civilians, including children playing in fields, to shreds even after conflicts have ended.”

OK, my secret is out. I’m a liberal who would like to see humanity stop blowing up people. Hate me for it if you must.

Third—and, again, well, you know—an accession can mean the assuming of a high position such as a monarch or a president. However, as I’ve warned elsewhere in similar circumstances, it’s generally not a good idea to assume such things. You should be sure. Some people are likely to get upset if you assume that you’ve become a monarch or president and take over that office and its powers when, in fact, your assumption was wrong. The real monarch or president may have something to say about that. And, more than just say, he or she may call out the troops, which could get a trifle unpleasant for you.

Fourth—yada, yada, yada—accession can also be a verb. In this case, it means to record the addition to a collection in the order in which it was acquired.

I promised to try to somehow link these disparate definitions of accession. OK. Here goes.

Let’s say that on January 20, 2413 Raithesal Gasensopth, the first native American woman born to parents who immigrated from another solar system to be elected President of the United States assumes office. Her first official act is to finally sign on to the international Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.

Two hundred years from now, the Republicans and Democrats no longer exist due to a political fight that turned into a real fight that annihilated both parties. They were replaced by two other parties, Party One and Party Two, that decided that cooperating was better than beating each other to a pulp. As a result, Congress was able to agree to agree to ratify the treaty.

President Gasensopth is a collector of historical documents and she added a copy of the treaty to her collection, recording the addition in her treaties catalog.

It could then be said that, after Raithesal Gasensopth’s accession to President, Gasensopth celebrated America’s accession to the land mine treaty with a ceremony marking her collection’s accession of the treaty, after which she accessioned it in her catalog.

Isn’t language wonderful. Particularly when I have to stretch it so far that I don’t get it exactly right.

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