More Kirn Kibble

Since I’m quibbling with Kirn today, here’s another.

You went to college and want to learn to write well? Here’s a tip. Vanquish from your mind the entire slate of terms you heard only in classes & used only in papers. Ditch “hegemony.” Forget “problematic.” Scuttle “instantiate.”

Excellent and very old advice. Most of the commenters hadn’t heard instantiate, so maybe it should be vanquished on grounds of unfamiliarity.

Still, instantiate has a specific and highly useful meaning, with no proper substitute. It means turn an idea into a physical object or a physical activity. Other Latin-derived languages use realize, literally make real. But English uses realize for sudden comprehension, not for turning an idea into reality. So we needed a word for the Euro realize, and instantiate fills the gap.

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