pitching & sticking

This past week, presumably like most of the population of the UK, I’ve been thinking about snow.

Sitting with a friend, watching the white flakes whirl in the wind the other day prompted the inevitable conversation about whether the snow would…

And then we were stuck. What question were we trying to ask?
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glory all around

I have occasionally wondered why children seem to instinctively draw the sun as a yellow circle with straight lines radiating from it, but looking at the glorious sunrise in the photo above, it certainly makes some sense.

Yes, I know: I overuse the words glory and glorious, but surely it’s justified here?

That can no doubt be seen as a purely subjective opinion but, when referring to the next picture, which I personally consider rather less impressive, I gather glory would be the technically correct term:
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roost, rooster, roostest

I first came across the word “palimpsest” years ago, when I was training to teach English as a foreign language: in one of the classes we were given a list of words that we were not expected to know and asked to chat with a partner and guess their meanings.

Presumably, the idea was to simulate the stress suffered by the students we would encounter once we qualified, but, of course, our situation was vastly different as we were all native speakers and there was really no great pressure to get the answers right, anyway.
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word association

Memory is an odd thing. And linguistic memory is perhaps as odd as any.

I know I should remember the name of the flowers in the photo as I’ve grown plenty over the years, but every time I see them I have to sort through and reject a few other words that come to mind first.

They definitely aren’t coelacanths.

And I’m fairly sure they have nothing to do with Clytemnestra.
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in a pickle

Well, not really in a pickle, as the spices in the picture are not yet even tied up in muslin. And, anyway, they were to be used to make chutney.

Which leads me on to wonder what the difference between chutney and pickle actually is. The top results in Google don’t help much; I think they are biased towards the States, where things like gherkins, which are preserved without cooking, are classed as pickles, while vegetables and fruits cooked in vinegar with spices are called chutney or relish.
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forbidden favourites

Although most people agree that autumn starts with the equinox, which doesn’t fall for another week, it seems that Christmas is already looming, with cards on sale in the shops, and gift catalogues dropping through the letterbox. I never sign up for printed catalogues, but they arrive unsolicited, and offer temptations in the form of all sorts of trinkets and knick-knacks I never knew I needed.

Of course, once you start to buy gifts, some sort of wrapping is required. The latest catalogue offered this interesting set of gift bags:

Gift bag description: "sprinklied with irredecent glitter"

It’s not a charity I had ever thought of supporting, but if I had more time, I might be tempted to offer my proof-reading skills at a reduced rate.
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logic test

This morning, I wanted to make a pun on the idea of a poet as a “maker” and a poem as “a made thing”; before I did so, though, I went to Google to check that I had the etymology right. What I found reminded me of those IQ test questions where you fill in the next word in a set or in a sequence.

Here the sequence starts “poet, poem, poetry,” but the final word is not the one I would have expected:

derivation of word "poem". Google results