The Internetz is giving me A.D.D.

by Charles Cherry

The Glory of St. Thomas Aquinas, detail. Paris...

Image via Wikipedia

So, I was about to read this article that began with the phrase, “Pace Thomas Aquinas, sometimes we need to deceive.”

Now, one doesn’t see the word “pace” used as a preposition all that often. I thought I knew what the author meant, but since I’m reading on the World Wide Web of Hypertext documents and infinite information, I thought I should check myself. So of course I double-clicked the word “pace” and selected “Search Google for ‘Pace'” from the context menu.

After a couple of search refinements, I landed on a page of links that confirmed the definition for me: pace is a Latin-inspired word that people use when they want to respectfully disagree. It is like saying, “With all due respect to [so and so], I disagree.”

Okay, fine. But how to pronounce that little word? Should I pronounce it like the noun, the word that means “rate of movement,” the word that rhymes with “race?” That didn’t seem right, especially if the word came from Latin, where the “c” is always hard, and the “a” is usually short. So, is the word pronounced “pah-kay?” That didn’t seem right either. So off I went on another Google search.

So, I found out that “pace” as a preposition has a lot of pronunciations, and the correct one depends on who you ask (or read). I think the consensus was “PAH-chay,” pronounced with an Italian accent.

However, while reading about how to pronounce “pace,” I stumbled upon a link to an article about Tolkien‘s passion for languages in general, and creating languages in particular. This article linked to another, longer, article on the same subject, which of course I had to click over to and read. (I posted a link to this article earlier).

All of this took some time, of course. By the time I had satisfied my curiosity about the word “pace,”  having learned a thing or two about the word and how to pronounce it, and having learned more about one of my favorite authors, I realized that I had never even read the original article that started this whole rabbit trail.

That’s when I realized that the Internet is giving me Attention Deficit Disorder.

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