Posted by Lewis on March 21, 2003
In Reply to: Final ultimatum posted by TheFallen on March 17, 2003
: : : What's wrong with this headline?
: : : Bush Plans Final Ultimatum (cbsnews.com)
: : : From Merriam-Webster
: : : Main Entry: ul·ti·ma·tum
: : : Pronunciation: "&l-t&-'mA-t&m, -'mä-
: : : Function: noun
: : : Inflected Form(s): plural -tums or ul·ti·ma·ta /-t&/
: : : Etymology: New Latin, from Medieval Latin, neuter of ultimatus final
: : : Date: 1731
: : : : a final proposition, condition, or demand; especially : one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action
: : Final ultimatum - vs. maybe, opening or first ultimatum. Really...an ultimatum is an ultimatum. No need to make it final!
: ...unless one is dealing in the world of diplomacy and/or stage management (personally I see little difference), whereupon as has been readily shown, it's more than possible to have penultimate ultimatums (ultimata?).
(Slightly bad tempered sigh)- it is only possible to have one Ultimate in the same way as one Infinity - it is an unsurpassable abstract noun, is it not?
Therefore, any "ultimatum" must be the final demand or it is not truly an ultimatum, but instead is a unilateral demand. what you are talking about would have to be a "penultimatum".