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acrobat

Acrobat does not mean software used to create and read pdf documents. Well, it does mean that when it starts with a capital A, but if I had put the word acrobat in the middle of a sentence, such as I just did, instead of at the beginning of the sentence, such as in the preceding sentence, it would not have a capital a and it would not have been the name of a piece of software.

The point I’m getting at is that you won’t find the pdf document software definition of Adobe in a dictionary unless the dictionary is written by Adobe Systems Incorporated, the vendors of Acrobat.

And, by the way, the dictionary definition of adobe is not the company that makes Acrobat. I won’t be getting to the word adobe for a few days. So you’ll have to be patient if you want to learn more here about the word adobe.

What acrobat does mean is someone who performs gymnastic feats that require tremendous control and coordination of his or her body. Well, tremendous for me. Someone who is more athletic than I am might consider it to be just very good, or maybe very, very good, rather than tremendous.

Acrobats might do tumbling, climbing, swinging and all sorts of other things that your mother shrieked at you not to do and that might have resulted in you being taken to the hospital to have your broken arm set when you were a kid. But it most likely wouldn’t have killed you. It might have. But probably not. And it certainly didn’t kill you if you’re an adult and you’re reading this.

Professional acrobats are paid. On the other hand, some of the kids who were forbidden to do their informal, impromptu childhood tumbling, climbing and swinging grow up to be homeless. I wonder how the mothers of the now homeless adults feel about the restrictions they placed on their children when they were youngsters.

Acrobat has another meaning that I’ve heard before, but it lingered in some dark recess gathering dust in the back of my mind until I took to writing this entry and saw it in the dictionary. People who are known for changing their minds frequently, possibly, but not necessarily, without any justification for doing so, are called (mental) acrobats.

Considering how few people are willing and able to change their minds once they’ve been made up, even when new information or new understanding makes it perfectly clear that changing one’s mind is the rational thing to do, it’s no surprise that this meaning of acrobat isn’t used more often.

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