DNF vs DNS vs Kill Yourself Trying?

For everyone that competes on a semi-regular basis; that first DNF (did not finish) is always on the cards; it is waiting in the wind like an inevitable pride killer.

As the old saying goes: ‘Finishing dead last is better than DNF, and DNF is better than DNS’. I think this is a great expression, which gives an order of merit to these otherwise difficult outcomes, but surely sometimes there are reasonable scenarios where DNF and DNS are actually the more sensible options…