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addition

One of the definitions of addition is the process of adding two or more numbers together. I had something to say about this and, more specifically, about the importance of learning how to do addition in the entry on the word add, so I won’t say more about it here.

The word addition can also refer to something or someone that is added to something else to augment it.

An addition is usually added to improve what it is added to, but not necessarily. For example, an addition to an Alcoholics Anonymous group would be another drunk who joins the group to try to defeat his or her addiction to alcohol. That person may or may not improve the group. Until they’ve completed a number of steps in the 12-step program, they probably won’t be an improvement if they get violent when they are drunk. Not that I would know anything about that.

An addition to a house is a wing, room or floor that added to the house. If you live in an urban area, the municipality often has something to say about whether you can build the addition. For example, they might say no if you want to add 40 stories on top of your little home on a 40-foot-wide lot in the middle of a neighborhood of bungalows. Bastards!

This project would probably be easier if I paid more attention in school when I was a child and a young adult. Then again, I’m getting old and my memory, which was never very good, is not as good as it used to be. So maybe I did pay attention back then, but I’ve forgotten now.

Whatever the case, there is a chemistry-related definition of addition that I either forgot or never knew. According to The New Penguin English Dictionary (1986), an addition is, “the direct chemical combination of substances to form a single product.”

Sounds simple enough. I haven’t a clue how that differs from the addition of anything, such as a new wing, to anything, such as a house, to form a single thing, such as a bigger house. Maybe a chemist will wander by and leave a comment to explain it to us. Then again, probably not. Almost nobody wanders by here.

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