Think a little about the word ‘extreme’. Extreme is from extrēmus, the Latin term for the most outward thing. Extreme things are those that are farthest from us, the last in a sequence, the most excessive in degree — the polar regions, the letter ‘Z’, the best or the worst or the most superlatively superlative. In popular usage, ‘extreme’ can act the same as the diluted modifiers ‘very’ or ‘really’ — the judgment ‘extremely good’ doesn’t aim to conjure up the image of something at the limits of goodness, it just means a thing is better than the usual. But all the same, ‘limits’ are a good way of thinking about extremity. e extreme thing, that thing in the distance, brushes right up against the limits of possibility or of what is known — the edges of a location, or the limits of the imagination. Latin grammar, as with British, also allows for a more extreme, a most extreme — a doubling-up of the superlative form, the most far-flung of the farthest things. ink of extremity as the crossing of limits: extremity as an emphatic step beyond the known, and an excursion into new arenas of thought and feeling.