Two Words: Confluence & Funner

River Confluence

The first time we heard the word “confluence” was years ago and it was used to describe the merging of the Blue Nile and White Nile to form the Great Nile River described as the lifeblood of Egypt.  But confluence of rivers and streams happen all over the world, we just do not always know what word to use to describe them.  In times past the word was limited in use to describe liquids merging.

The picture above is the Zanskar and Indus Rivers in India where they merge.  From here they flow south as the Indus River to eventually empty into the Arabian Sea.  We assume that the difference in mineral content accounts for the line of demarcation at the point of confluence.  Confluence is often confined to use to describe two or more bodies of equal size that merge, not the flow of tributaries into a body of water of greater size.

In recent times the word confluence has been used to describe the merging of other events such as the merging of cultures, or the bringing together of the correct elements to create something.  An example might be the bringing together of the right scientist, resources, and technology to produce a new medicine.

“We sailed down the Blue Nile to the point of confluency with the White Nile.”

“The agreement of the artists to perform together on stage produced a magical confluence of talent that the audience recognized as something unique and special.”

You can get some arguments about the use of the words funner and funnest.  Their use, or misuse based on your perspective dates back at least to 1876 according to Webster’s Dictionary.  We believe they are not words, or at least not standard words in use today.  Words have a “feel” to them when used properly, and funner and funnest just lack that ring of truth.  On this one we disagree with Webster’s.  We believe that more fun and most fun are more descriptive and have that ring of proper use.

Those who believe that they are words would point to the conjugation of fun, funner, and funnest.  The normal conjugation would include fun, funned, will fun, would have been funning, etcetera.  Whereas funned, funniest, and funning seem to be acceptable, funner and funnest are not.

“Being in Aruba was funner that being in Cuba.”  versus “Being in Aruba was more fun than being in Cuba.”

“Jack was funner to be around than Jill.” versus “Jack was more fun to be around than Jill.”