Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports on a recent lunch gathering at which a discussion of the conversational use of “per se” was on the table after a precise definition by Bernie Cohen got the matter up for grammatical grabs.
Bernie has been bringing such quiet analytical intelligence to all kinds of formal and informal tables from the highest UW teaching and administrative levels to lunches with age-related riffraff like Harry, Chan, Lee and the keeper.
Bernie died in his sleep several days ago. At his next birthday he would have been 98 years old.
“Per se,” is to “stand alone” or be “of itself.”
Bernie’s life, per se, was incredible.
He is mourned by a loving family, countless associates from his illustrious and long academic career and by recent lunch riffraff.