A definition is where you say what something means. Or is it?
Is where. What an unuseful, unsatisfying phrase. I’m talking about definitions like these:
- A gravy train is where someone makes lots of money without doing much for it.
- A retweet is where you forward a tweet.
- Horticulture is where people grow plants.
If you wanted to understand gravy trains, retweets, and horticulture, these half-clarifications would leave you wondering what types of things these things are. Surely a gravy train has nothing to do with gravy or trains, does it? What exactly is a retweet before it gets forwarded? If horticulture is where people grow plants, does that make it a plot of ground? You might reread the definitions, suspecting that you missed something. You might feel vaguely cheated, left behind with the most basic of questions unanswered.
Is where. What a great big abandoner.