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airborne

Airborne means suspended in or flying through air.

As I mentioned in the entry on the word air, it would be highly unusual for people to be airborne for very long unless there was some sort of device, such as a flying machine, like an airplane or helicopter, involved.

Because that part of the entry on air was referring to air travel, I didn’t include it there, but here under airborne I’d include things like hang gliders and parasails as ways for humans to remain airborne for extended periods and living to tell about it.

Ski jumpers can also stay airborne for a while, but that’s just plain crazy. What sort of person does that intentionally?

With those exceptions, it’s generally a bad idea to expect air to bear your weight. Relying too heavily on that is usually fatal.

That having been said, in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a wonderfully funny “trilogy” of five books), the late Douglas Adams claimed that the trick to people flying without any mechanical assistance is to throw oneself at the ground and miss.

Warning: Perfecting that can be a bit tricky.

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