Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tip & Quote of the Week: "Eminent, Imminent, & Immanent"

These words look and sound very similiar, but mean completely different things.


(of a person) famous and respected within a particular sphere or profession: 
one of the world's most eminent statisticians. 
• [ attrib.] used to emphasize the presence of a positive quality: 
the guitar's eminent suitability for recording studio work.


existing or operating within; inherent: 
the protection of liberties is immanent in constitutional arrangements. 
• (of God) permanently pervading and sustaining the universe. 
(Often contrasted with transcendent.)


1 about to happen: they were in imminent danger of being swept away. 
2 archaic overhanging.

Picture found here.

"I have a spelling checker 
It came with my PC 
It plainly marks for my revue 
Mistakes I cannot sea 
I've run this poem threw it 
I'm sure your please to no, 
It's letter perfect in it's weigh 
My checker tolled me sew"
-- anonymous

is an adjective meaning “about to happen.” It comes from a Latin word minere meaning “to overhang” or “to be near.”

Obama’s court pick is imminent

Pfizer Chief Says Growth Is Imminent

PSPgo Relaunch is Imminent

Bush Says No Imminent Decision on Guantanamo

Similar in meaning to imminent is the word impending, literally, “hanging over.” Unlike imminent, impending has a negative, even ominous connotation:

How do human beings react to the threat of impending catastrophe?

Teachers appeal to AG to cancel impending dismissals

Peter could not keep silent. He laid hold upon his Master, 
as if to draw Him back from His impending doom…

Anxiety symptoms – Fear of impending doom

The expression impending doom, meaning “something bad about to happen” has become such a cliché as to be the name of at least two heavy metal bands.

Picture found here.
Immanent is an adjective meaning “dwelling within.” The word is most commonly used to describe a spiritual presence. It comes from a Latin word manere meaning “to dwell within" or "remain".

Is there a hierarchy in the immanent Trinity?

God is immanent in every form and whoever 
loves God must love God’s creation.

Colossians 1:15:20 says: God has become 
immanent in Jesus Christ

The word immanent has other applications in 
anthropology and mathematics.

Sometimes even people writing about spiritual matters mix up immanent and imminent, as in these examples from a web site about the historical Jesus:

Wrong: [Jesus] did believe that this 
restoration [of a Jewish state] was immanent.

Wrong: Critical scholars argue that the 
high priest feared that Jesus’ talk 
of an immanent restoration 
of an independent Jewish state 
would likely spark a riot.

Picture found here.
Eminent means “prominent, outstanding.” It comes from a Latin word meaning “to stand out” or “to project.” Eminent people stand out from the herd because of their personal and professional qualities and achievements. In a literal sense of “projecting,” an eminence can be a hill or other high place that stands above its surroundings.

The city squares by night are breathtaking when viewed from an eminence.

BOOK REVIEW: An eminent Victorian disinterred

UN Security Council Seeks an Eminent Individual for an Impossible Job

The legal term eminent domain refers to the right of a government to appropriate private property for public use, paying “just compensation” to the owner. The public domain stands out from the private domain.

The Alameda Theater and Cineplex in Alameda, CA, 
was built on property that was unjustly seized 
by the city through eminent domain laws.

A new eminent domain law in Utah authorizes seizure of some of 
the federal government’s vast land holdings.

Picture found here.
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