Monday, 29 July 2013

Bivious - You Have Two Options

Bivious, Left or Right, Crossroads, Warning sign,


Adjective. Mid-17th century.
[from Latin bivius, from BI- + via way + -OUS.]

Having or offering two ways.

I like the word bivious; it's given me pause for thought. Very often, we find ourselves at a bivious juncture in life, considering between two extreme options. Now that I've finished school, for example, should I go to university or straight into the workforce? Now that my parents are getting old, should I care for them myself or put them into care? At the next election, should I vote Labour or Conservative, Democrat or Republican?

Of course, none of these options are truly bivious, and I can't help but wonder if many things in life aren't really as one or the other as we make them. It's quite possible, too, that social and societal pressures push us into thinking something is bivious: "Are you going to university, or will you be happy to wait tables for the rest of your life?"

George W. Bush famously presented the nations of the world with a direly bivious choice:

"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." 

This is such patent nonsense that it hardly seems worth addressing, but clearly not everyone that chooses not to align themselves with the United States and its actions is automatically declaring their allegiance to terrorists.

The next time, therefore, I am at a bivious juncture in my life, I am going to try to remember to pause, think, and consider if it truly is bivious, or indeed there are more options that I haven't yet considered, or whether I actually need to make a choice at all.

Do please leave any comments on bivious below.


  1. The first time I was really faced with a decision like this wasn't right after secondary school. It was always implied I would go to university.
    The first time was right after my first four years of uni. Either I would go out into the world and try to find a job with my useless diploma, or pursue another master's degree, one that would be only slightly less useless.

    You know which one I picked. I'm still not quite sure if it was the right decision, but it was the right one at the time.

    1. It's an interesting concept to not be sure if a decision is right now, but for it to have been the right decision at the time.

  2. Does 'obivious' mean not knowing you have a choice?


    1. Does it? I'm not sure, though I think 'ambivious' might mean you've been given two choices, but it's not really clear what they are.