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adequate

Adequate is a synonym for sufficient or enough.

There is a song called Dayenu, which is pronouced “die-eh-nue,” that forms a part of the traditional service at a Jewish Passover seder. (The “Jewish” was redundant, because I don’t know of any other religion that celebrates Passover or holds seders, but I didn’’t know if everyone knows that Passover and seders are part of Judaism so I thought I’d better mention it.)

Dayenu a transliteration of the real name of the song. In Hebrew, it’s native language, it is דַּיֵּנוּ. Loosely translated, dayenu (or, more accurately, דַּיֵּנוּ) means “it would have been enough for us” or, in other words, it would have been adequate for us.

In the song, which lists the things that god allegedly did for the Jews as they escaped from the tyranny of the Pharaohs in biblical times, the word dayenu (דַּיֵּנוּ) is repeated after each line. Every year when my grandfather was leading the seder, when we reached dayenu he would, without fail, say something to the effect of, “yeah, when was that ever enough for us?”

Clearly, Hebrew is more efficient on this score because we have to say, “It would have been enough for us,” whereas in Hebrew it’s adequate to say just dayenu (דַּיֵּנוּ).

When adequate is used to describe a person, the word adequate is often said with a sneer, making it an insult. Apparently, just good enough is just not good enough for the sneerers. I hear that sort of thing a lot when people are talking about me, almost, but not quite, as much as I hear the word inadequate.

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