A couple months ago there was a very orderly moment at 12:34 in the afternoon. For one minute, it was 12:34 5/6/7. For those of us not on military time, it happened twice that day.
I was chatting with somebody recently and he pointed out that an even cooler moment happened seventeen years ago (and one hundred seventeen years ago, for that matter). I only wish I’d remembered to look at a digital watch at exactly 12:34 and 56 seconds on 7/8/90. Or even the summer before that, at exactly 01:23:45 on 6/7/89.
Anyway, here are ten useful words to add to your vocabulary, all related to the theme of order:
1. acrostic: a composition usually in verse in which sets of letters (as the initial or final letters of the lines) taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet.
2. cavalcade: a dramatic sequence or procession.
3. tierce: a sequence of three playing cards of the same suit.
4. barcarole: a Venetian boat song usually in 6/8 or 12/8 time characterized by the alternation of a strong and weak beat that suggests a rowing rhythm.
5. polystichous: arranged in several rows.
6. apparitor: an official formerly sent to carry out the orders of a magistrate, judge, or court.
7. Fibonacci number: an integer in the infinite sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,… of which the first two terms are 1 and 1 and each succeeding term is the sum of the two immediately preceding.
8. anastrophe: inversion of the usual syntactical order of words for rhetorical effect.
9. denouement: the outcome of a complex sequence of events.
10. perfecta: a bet in which the bettor picks the first and second place finishers in order.