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again

When I saw the word again I panicked. “What,” I thought, “am I going to write about the word again that won’t be mere repetition to create a practical example of the word’s usage.”

Let me say that again, “What,” I thought,” am I going to write about the word again that won’t be mere repetition to create a practical example of the word’s usage.”

That could get more than a little bit annoying if I did it too often just to demonstrate the use of the word again yet again. And I certainly don’t want to annoy my readers in the exceptionally unlikely event I ever get any.

Then I looked at the dictionary. It refreshed my memory of other senses of the word again.

For one, again can be used to suggest that something was restored its previous state. For example, you might say that, “claims to the contrary notwithstanding, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men made Humpty Dumpty whole again.”

That would totally screw up a famous nursery rhyme, but if you state it with conviction the king’s men will be less likely to cause you harm as punishment for disparaging their abilities.

Another sense of the word again is used as a shorter version of the phrase, “on the other hand.” In this case, it is usually preceded with the word “then.” For example, one might say, “Now that we’ve voted a different party into office things may change for the better. Then again, history suggests that its going to be more of the same no matter who we vote in.”

Sigh.

To conclude, let me say again, … Wait. I did that schtick already, didn’t I? Never mind.

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