O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

An Abundance of Caution

Last night, new U.S. President Barack Obama retook the oath of office after he and Chief Justice Roberts botched it at the inauguration. Their reason for doing so? According to a written statement from White House Counsel Greg Craig, it was simply the result of “an abundance of caution.”

Which apparently is new-administration code for “so the crazy Obama-haters don’t have any reason to start protesting that I’m not really the president.” Everyone knows that Obama became president Tuesday with or without the oath, and that the oath was administered effectively despite the garbled beginning. But they wanted to be safe.

Anyway, I love the “abundance of caution” reasoning.

In fact, I’m thinking “abundance of caution” will become a nationwide meme. Need to repeat something for no good reason? Now you have an excuse! For your edification and instruction, here are some practical uses of the phrase, divided into helpful categories.


Out of an abundance of caution, I’ve asked the minister to lead us once more in our wedding vows, just to make sure we’re really married. As you know, baby, that means this week is our honeymoon.


Out of an abundance of caution, I’m going to need to watch last night’s episode of Lost again, honey. I may have missed something important.


Out of an abundance of caution, I’d better eat another cookie. It’s too early to tell, but the first one may not end up being as satisfying as I’d hoped.

Out of an abundance of caution, I’m going to need another cup of double-chocolate mocha, in case the caffeine content wasn’t high-octane enough.


Out of an abundance of caution, Junior, I want you to get back in bed and go to sleep. It’s Saturday morning, after all, and who knows if you got enough rest last night?


Out of an abundance of caution, I’m going to ask my boss to hire me again. If that results in an accidentally doubled salary, I will not complain.


Out of an abundance of caution, I’m inviting Jesus into my heart a second time. Better safe than sorry, especially when eternal damnation is concerned. (Evangelical)

Out of an abundance of caution, I’m getting baptized a second time. Better safe than sorry, especially when eternal damnation is concerned. (Liturgical)

Out of an abundance of caution, I’m attending mass a second time. Better safe than sorry, especially when eternal damnation is concerned. (Catholic)


Your turn. What other experiences or decisions could be improved with an abundance of caution?

Comments read comments(9)
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posted January 22, 2009 at 8:45 am

Sucking Up:Out of an abundance of caution I’m going to reread Jason’s blog to make ensure I’ve laughed enough for the day. Because I don’t think I have. Bah-dah-tsh!

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Travis Erwin

posted January 22, 2009 at 10:33 am

My boss is so ate up with an abundance of caution that she is too afraid to stick her head out of the hole and see what’s really going on.So it’s not always a good thing.

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Kevin D. Hendricks

posted January 22, 2009 at 11:51 am

Look out Jason, I’ve got an abundance of caution on a T-shirt!

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posted January 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Sounds like a GREAT “fake band t-shirt” name!

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Jason Boyett

posted January 22, 2009 at 1:25 pm

@Kevin: Brilliant.@Schromom: Good point. Personally, I’d rewrite to “The Abundant Cautions”

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Cameron Reeves

posted January 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Using an abundance of caution could cause you to carelessly overlook how ridiculously cautious you actually look.

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clarissa h.

posted January 23, 2009 at 8:50 am

out of an abundance of caution, i am going to spend endless hours reading reviews on digital cameras before i buy another one, don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

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posted January 23, 2009 at 9:47 am

Re my workout:Out of an abundance of caution, I’m going to do my Billy Blanks workout one more time because I don’t think I sweat enough the first time.

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posted April 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I found your blog by Googling “an abundance of caution”. You were right on… this is becoming a meme.

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