There's interminable and then there's interminable

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Re the March word fugitive, about a name for the "interminable" period one can spend contemplating the audiovisuals that cycle endlessly behind a DVD's main menu while one waits for someone else to come sit down, reader Tom Noe writes:

Imagine having to come up with a new name for a geologic period:
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7223663.stm
 
Fugitives fans, don't get overexcited. Scientists have a name for the current period. They're calling it the Anthropocene. 

If this has you searching your memory for the names of other geologic periods, look here, where you'll find them together with mnemonic devices suggested by listeners to NPR's Science Friday. My favorite is "Can Very Callous Old Senators Demand More Power and Privilege Than Junior Congressmen?" A rhetorical question, obviously. 
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Visit Barbara Wallraff’s blog, at barbarawallraff .theatlantic.com, to see more commentary on language and to submit Word Fugitive queries and words that meet David K. Prince’s need. Readers whose queries are published and those who take top honors will receive an autographed copy of Wallraff’s most recent book, Word Fugitives. More

Barbara WallraffBarbara Wallraff, a contributing editor and columnist for The Atlantic, has worked for the magazine for 25 years. She is also a weekly syndicated newspaper columnist for King Features and the author of Word Fugitives (2006), Your Own Words (2004), and the national best-seller Word Court (2000). Her writing about language has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Wilson Quarterly, The American Scholar, and The New York Times Magazine.

Wallraff has been an invited speaker at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the National Writers Workshop, the Nieman Foundation, Columbia Journalism School, the British Institute Library of Florence, and national or international conventions of the American Copy Editors Society, the Council of Science Editors, the International Education of Students organization, and the Journalism Education Association. She has been interviewed about language on the Nightly News With Tom Brokaw and dozens of radio programs including Fresh Air, The Diane Rehm Show, and All Things Considered. National Public Radio's Morning Edition once commissioned her to copy edit the U.S. Constitution. She is a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel. The Genus V edition of the game Trivial Pursuit contains a question about Wallraff and her Word Court column.

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