CBS 2 School: Super Prefix-ation

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The 2 Teachers

The 2 Teachers, Dan Larsen and Andy Conneen (Credit: CBS)

The prefix “super” is derived from the Latin for “above” and “beyond.” We Americans love anything that is super. We love to use the prefix “super.” It might be a collective fixation.

This weekend we loved the Super Bowl. Record numbers watched and enjoyed two of our most storied NFL franchises play in our biggest game.. The game lived up to its hype.

This weekend we also gave tribute to our Super President. Ronald Reagan would have been 100 on Sunday. Both conservatives and liberals paid homage to the memory of our cheerleading president. We shared super memories.

But there is more.

We love our Super Heroes, Super Smash Brothers, Super-sized meals and our Super Mario.

We have supermarkets with supervisors using supercomputers. We superimpose, supersede and superscript. Things are superficial, superfine and supercritical.

The prefix “super” is superior.

Obama hoped for super results as president. Barack Obama ran a super campaign. Yet his presidency has been dominated by super problems. He certainly had made plans for a long legacy of superlatives. Obama had counted on the prefix “super” to best characterize his transformational presidency.

The super problems, however, have made this superpower worry more about leaking supertankers. Our superintendent-in-chief rose to power in supersonic ways but now all too often appears on the world stage as a supernumerary.

Four years ago this month Obama announced his candidacy for president on the steps where Lincoln stood. On a super cold day a super cool narrative began.

Soon Obama will be asked to announce that he is running again. Shortly Obama will have to make if official that he is seeking a second term. To be successful this time the prefix “super” might sound superfluous.

If President Obama expects to go above and beyond this time he best start thinking about using the right suffix. If that suffix does not contain jobs no prefix will be noticed anyway.

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