Who uses it: Economists
What it means: "Other things being equal," a condition of equilibrium that exists when a variable in a situation changes.
How you can use it: Wishful thinking.
The big joke about ceteris paribus is that other things never are equal -- which is why economics is better at explaining what happened than predicting what will.
I woke up this morning feeling -- not fine, but as if I might feel fine at some not-so-distant point in the future. It's strange how hard it is to remember feeling well when you feel lousy. But I am better today, finally, and might even be all better tomorrow.
My iPod Shuffle gave me Chet Baker's "My Funny Valentine" this morning -- how did it know? -- but that was followed by Nine Inch Nails' "Something I Can Never Have," which confirmed my suspicion that the stupid thing is mocking me. Ceteris paribus, I'm much happier alone on this Valentine's Day than I was with Mr. Wrong, last year.
And anyway, the big holiday today is the birthday of my friend Eileen Consey-Heywood, now resident in Aberdeen. Happy birthday, Eileen. Haggis for everyone!