As you know, a term can be either:
1. a word,
2. a period of time, or
3. a condition that you have to follow.
So, something termless can be either: 1. unnameable,
2. never-ending, or
3. not limited by any conditions.
We'll focus on that third meaning throughout this issue.
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “termless forgiveness.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "Their forgiveness was termless.")
None seem to be listed in dictionaries, but I suppose you could use "termlessness."
How to use it:
This is the short, emphatic word you need when "unconditional" is too long and clunky and when "absolute" doesn't seem strong enough. Use it to describe anything that is free from terms, conditions, or limits.
Talk about termless peace agreements, termless surrender, termless forgiveness, termless love or support, termless donations or assistance, and so on.
I like the story of the prodigal son, the one who comes home expecting judgment and instead receives termless welcome and love.
Being such a wildly successful author, J. K. Rowling understandably chose to write subsequent books under a fake name. Termless acceptance of her work from her publishers and existing fans wouldn't help her grow in her craft.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "termless" means when you can explain it without saying "with no terms" or "free from caveats."
Think of a time you knew there would be strings attached to an offer (meaning, you knew you'd have to do something in return if you were to accept the offer,) and fill in the blanks: "I'd be naive to assume (someone's) offer was termless when (he/she/they) wanted to give me _____."
Example: "I'd be naive to assume my employer's offer was termless when he offered me a free cell phone plan. Yup: I'd have to answer it 24/7 and talk to people about our services."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, challenge your powers of memory and recall (or just get ready to reign supreme on Wheel of Fortune) as we play with two-word phrases that you’ll find in a dictionary. We’ll start off with easy tasks and advance to harder ones as the month goes on. See the right answer to each question the following day. You might even see a new phrase that inspires your curiosity and makes you look it up. Have fun! (Note: Every dictionary recognizes a different set of two-word phrases. I used the OED to make these game questions.)
Spot the error! Of the two-word phrases listed below, which one is always properly written as one word with a hyphen?
Answer: We write “drip-dry” as one word with a hyphen, not as two words.
Try this one today:
What rushed-sounding two-word phrase is a synonym for “porridge”?
A Point Well Made:
Friedrich Nietzsche: “A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”
1. The opposite of TERMLESS is
2. You might argue that only _____ would ensure a termless peace.
A. total annihilation of the enemy B. a strict set of imposed conditions
C. a flexible set of reasonable conditions
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.