The Random Word Generator Diaries: Previous

*Every week (ish) Rick uses a random word generator to pick a topic, and rambles on about it using related stories, thoughts, and questionable facts he thought he heard somewhere.  Once finished he’ll look up the actual definition and see if he was in the ballpark.

Random word: Previous


Previous means the last one!  That’s easy enough!  Not last like the final one, last like the one before this current one.  Past!  We all get it!  If you can read this article I am sure you know what previous means!  No one is learning anything on this one!

In my previous article I wrote about a fake word that has no actual meaning.  It was pretty good, assuming that you are rating that only as “articles written by Rick Canavan” and not “all things you could spend your time on” because the worst episode of Gilmore Girls (now on Netflix streaming) is easily better than anything I write.  You can read that here:

Currently I work at an answering service, previously I worked as an Insurance agent for a company that I won’t mention because I hear they are very litigious.  I sold car insurance to people who lived in Virginia, Georgia and New Mexico and I was very not good at it.  Every person I talked to from New Mexico had never even heard of Breaking Bad, which was unfortunate because that was my sales pitch.  I figured we would talk about Walter White good vs. evil, and the war on drugs until I had lulled them in to a state of trust and then they would buy my insurance.  I sold zero policies.

Sorry, Florence.

Oh crap, I previously stated that previous means the last one.  I’m totally wrong(ish!)  Looks like I am the one learning something here.  Previous just means anything before.  Like when you are watching the next episode of Gilmore Girls, and they start with “previously on Gilmore Girls…” they aren’t just showing what happened in the last episode!  You get any information from past episodes that is relevant to what you are about to watch!  Maybe Jess is making an appearance and we haven’t seen him since last season, we need to know who this guy is and why Luke pushed him in a lake?! 

It was because Luke has trouble expressing his emotions.

I misspelled previous in the previous paragraph as pervious, which is also a word I know meaning permeable.  Pervious also kind of sounds like a word you could use to talk about the last time you sexually harassed someone.  Are people having conversations like that?  I certainly hope not. 

Looking at you, Bill…



adjective: previous
  1. existing or occurring before in time or order.
    “she looked tired after her exertions of the previous evening”
  2. informal
    overly hasty in acting or in drawing a conclusion.
    “I admit I may have been a bit previous”

Wow, this word has layers!  So it turns out the secondary definition of previous describes what I did at the beginning of this article when describing the definition of word pervious.  I admit I may have been a bit previous with my definition of the word previous.  I’m going to be honest here, I’m pretty happy with the way this all turned out.

If you are still reading this, thank you for reading this.

Rick Canavan is a stand up comedian. You can see him host a pretty fun show every Friday night at the Comedy Studio in Harvard Square.

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