I hope that none are offended when I say that I am nonplussed at Ross Douthat’s use of “conterminous” in his column.
Here are two scenes from the same drama. The first scene takes place in California, where the state’s public university system now requires prospective faculty members to make a statement affirming their commitment to “diversity, equity and inclusion” — an officially politically neutral trinity that is widely suspected to be conterminous with progressive notions of what counts as diversity and what sort of inclusion matters.
(Ross Douthat, “Trump’s De-Polarizing Architecture Plan,” NYTimes, 2-11-20)
At first reading I assumed Douthat meant “coterminous” — who wouldn’t? To make sure I was on a sound footing before braying my contempt for his ignorant slippage from my speck in the social medium I Googled “conterminous.” Worse luck, it’s a word!
As adjectives the difference between conterminous and coterminous is that conterminous is meeting end-to-end or at the ends while coterminous is (of property leases) linked or related and expiring together.
(“Conterminous vs Coterminous — What’s the difference” — WikiDiff)
Hey, Douthat, here’s a scene from my drama. You’ve slipped my noose this time, but keep your fancy words to yourself. Ignorance of the American constitution insulates good citizens from eloquence and erudition such as yours for a reason — to make America simple again. MASA!
(c) 2020 JMN