Succumbed – Succambe – Succame

Every time I hear the word ‘succumbed’ my brain cringes.

To succumb is to give way, yield, submit and/or die. These are all rather emphatic things to be doing and I get that giving up, yielding and/or dying is quite well alluded to by the firm and final sound of a -d.

But I think this misses the point, a lot like SBS missed the point when I rang up to ask them if they were truly serious using the phrase ‘possibly imminent’ on live TV.

I get that succumbing is final, but the whole point of succumbing is the fact that you have resisted the giving way, yielding, submitting and/or dying, for what was probably quite a considerable length of time.

When it finally happens it’s not going to be sudden or unexpected. More than likely it’s going to wash over you like a warm and bloody wave: slightly metallic in flavour, if the written accounts of the taste of blood are to be believed. Which leads me to the question, why don’t they ever describe metal as tasting like blood?

Anyway, should you ever find that I have given up, yielded, submitted and/or died, know that I succambe.


8 responses to “Succumbed – Succambe – Succame

  1. I have to say, I do agree in the case of Succame. Succumbed just does not sound good.

    After surviving Stage IV colon cancer for 16 months, he succumbed to the disease.

    After surviving Stage IV colon cancer for 16 months, he succame to the disease.

    I intend to use succame (or succambe) until it becomes real. Cheers!

  2. I may be a little late in telling you this, but the phrase “possibly immanent” isn’t necessarily incorrect. I believe you meant “possibly imminent.” No wonder SBS “missed the point.” 😉

    • No indeed. In fact it’s probably an accurate statement as to my state of being.

      😉 even looked that one up and still spelled it the wrong way.


  3. “Possibly imminent” makes sense because whether an event is “imminent” is a matter of fact, and “possibly” only describes our belief about the probability of that event.

    • Imminent is so definitive that it is spurious to qualify it.

      There are clearer, less hysterical, ways to make the point that something is extremely likely.

    • Also. One can only determine after the fact if an event was imminent or not so I am not sure your distinction even stands

    • Just because it’s logically permissible does not make it a relevent statement

    • But if our our knowledge is so incomplete that we have to qualify a word like imminent, we should find a phrase more suited to the situation. I’m not saying the phrase makes no sense, I’m saying it’s ugly and deceitful in that you’re using big words to mask a lack of knowledge.

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