P2052 at AOL.COM P2052 at AOL.COM
Tue Oct 1 23:07:12 UTC 2002

I first heard the term in a Second Language Acquisition class I took
approximately 15 years ago.  It was used to refer to an immediate appropriate
response to a verbal situation (as opposed to hesitation while trying to
think of an appropriate response).  If  memory serves me right, when a person
reaches that level ("automaticity"),  then (s)he has acquired native or
near-native competence (in that situation, at least).

I didn't hear General Powell's speech, but I would assume that he used the
term to indicate that same idea of immediacy--and appropriateness--when
responding to a threat (whether direct or indirect) from Iraq, for hesitation
in that case could make Sagan's hypothetical nuclear winter a grim reality.

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