My son had set the toaster to “2” which merely warms the bread, in my opinion. Maybe he doesn’t want butter to melt in his mouth… When I noticed this I turned it up full. The toaster got confused, or did both settings at the same time and the toast came out burnt. As I looked at the black edges the word “carbonised” tip-toed across my mind in slippers. We are carbon-based creatures. I had never made the connection before! When we say someone “is toast” we mean they are finished (the complete opposite of saying they are “the toast of”…) but we are all the product of cosmic combustion, so we actually start out as toast. We could well be the black bits scraped off the breakfast of some mysterious greater entity…
Catrine was a hamlet of eleven houses when a cotton mill was built there in 1787. The mill burnt down in 1963. When I was growing up, my father worked in the nearby Barony pit and my mother worked in the textile industry. The shops in the village included a fish monger and an ironmonger, where you could find everything from nails to washing machines. Today, most of the shops are boarded up, except for five or six pubs. The coal mines have closed down and the cotton industry has been delocalised. Wikipedia says Catrine is now “a picturesque village”.
Someone asked me where the cotton came from to run the mill, and I replied
The first word that caught my attention since my last post is “inadvertently”.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin inadvertentia]
I just like the word, as I also like jeopardy, which, who would have guessed, comes from the French ‘jeu parti”
- Risk of loss or injury; peril or danger.
- Law. A defendant's risk or danger of conviction when put on trial.
[Middle English juperti, from Old French jeu parti, even game, uncertainty : jeu, game (from Latin iocus, joke, game) + parti, past participle of partir, to divide (from Latin partīre, from pars, part-, part; see part).]
Phonetically so close to leopard, no doubt some Martian trying to decipher English would think the meanings were related. Not so, not even the origins of the word:
“In Antiquity, it was believed that a leopard was a hybrid between a lion and a panther, as is reflected in its name, a Greek compound word derived from λέων léon ("lion") and πάρδος párdos ("male panther")”.
Another single letter change takes us to leotard, as in tutu (jube jube...)
“Writing is a performance art, so expect to experience performance anxiety, almost every time you write. Think of it as page-fright. :-)”
I was reading in the aforementioned news-paper about arms being shipped to Mugabe via South Africa and the wooden language of diplomacy clunking out “we don’t have the authority” to not deliver this cargo when all of a sudden the sun came out:
Phew. There are still some people alive in the world.
n., pl. -crums or -cra (-krə).
- The point or support on which a lever pivots.
- Zoology. An anatomical structure that acts as a hinge or a point of support.
- An agent through which vital powers are exercised.
[Latin, bedpost, from fulcīre, to support.]
(point d’appui, pivot.)
“Pivot” in French is also the name of the presenter of the longest-running book programme, and so his name has become synonymous with literature.
I had never heard of an “Interest-only mortgage” before. The mind boggles.
And the last word of today is allay:-
“Research allays fears that the rapid draining of water from the top of
Oh, I’m so relieved. I think of the little Dutch boy determined to save his community by sticking his finger in the hole in the dyke, but the adults can’t decide where the hole is, or there are so many holes they can’t decide which one he should be allowed to try to dam with his finger, and meanwhile the tsunami approaches...
And the myth isn’t based on true, European experience. There was no little Hans the Dutch boy. The Americans made it up.