Friday, 12 June 2015

Emulate - The Imitation Game

Children are master emulators.
(photo by Jen Hampton Photography)


Verb. Late 16th century.
[From Latin aemulat- 'rivalled, equalled', from the verb aemulari, from aemulus 'rival'.]

1 verb trans. Compete with; rival or equal in some respect. L16

2 verb intrans. obs. Strive in a spirit of rivalry to be or to do. L16-M17

3 verb trans. Imitate zealously; try to equal or excel. L16

4 verb trans. obs. Wish to rival (a person); to be envious or jealous of. E-M17

5 verb trans. (Of a computer etc. or its user) reproduce the action of (a different computer or software system)
with the aid of hardware or software designed to effect this;
 run (a program etc.) on a computer other than that for which it was written. M20

Emulate is often used as a raw synonym for imitate, particularly with regards a role model or admired person. However, an examination of the word suggests something a little more sinister - while imitation might indeed be the highest form of flattery, beware of emulation, as that might just be someone who covets your crown. If you have a crown. I don't have a crown. Sigh ... 

Do please copy down your most emulatory comments in the box below.