Monday, April 26, 2010


when i was little i learned the word invincible from superman comics. when i was a bit older i encountered a green powerup in doom that made you invulnerable and wondered why there was this slightly different word that apparently meant the same thing.

i have now discovered that these two words have subtle differences that are apparent in their latin roots:
  • invincible comes from the latin verb vincere, meaning "to conquer."
  • invulerable comes from the latin verb vulnerare, meaning "to wound."
so invincible means "unbeatable" - superman at times could be wounded (when kryptonite was present) but was never beaten - and invulnerable means "unwoundable" - in doom even when you were impervious to damage you could still be beaten in other ways.