the utmost degree; acme.
Late 14c., from O.Fr. superlatif (13c.), from L.L. superlativus “exaggerated, superlative,” from L. superlatus “exaggerated” (used as pp. of superferre”carry over or beyond”), from super “beyond” (see super–) + lat- “carry,” from *tlat-, pp. stem of tollere “to take away” (see extol). The noun is attested from 1520s, originally in the grammatical sense.
I was listening to an interview with Paul McCartney today and he was talking about the great musicians he has known and at the top of a pretty impressive list was Jimi Hendrix. He said there was one story about Jimi that had stuck with him all these years. In the summer of 1967, on a Thursday afternoon, the Beatles released Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Jimi opened with the first side of the album on Sunday! He had learned it solely by ear over the weekend.
Yeah, that’s pretty superlative.
What is it about some people that are superlative in their fields? That are able to attune themselves so well to the universe that they defy all convention? Is this level of excellence learned or just totally innate? Maybe quite a bit of both.
The point may be moot for many of us, but the true beauty of it all is that the path towards the superlative carries many rewards, least of all the state of being superlative.
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