Monday, May 30, 2011

Pound Foolish

I’d been babysitting Robert and his sister for years. “Wanna see all the comics I bought?” he asked. “And I got that glass-cutting thing from TV that lets you make wine bottles into drinking glasses, but it’s pretty hard. And five big boxes of Smarties.”
     “And the chattering teeth?”
     “Yeah! I spread out the Smarties, wound up the teeth, and pushed them around just like the commercial.”
     So, yes, there I was saving my pennies, while this eleven year-old made more working Saturday afternoons in his uncle’s framing shop than I could make in a month’s worth of Saturday nights.

2 comments:

  1. Another Key To Pound: I was pleased to learn it was called an asterisk, since it never looked much like a star. I’m glad I know the names for the ellipsis, tilde, caret, em dash, and ampersand. And I recently learned that the filled-in backwards-P paragraph mark is called a pilcrow. But before I knew it as a hash or even an octothorpe, the only other name I knew for the number sign was a musical sharp. So when my first voice mail system asked me to press the pound key, I looked in vain for that squiggly L with the line through it.

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  2. Kathy (Blackcurrant Productions)June 7, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Pilcrow is a lovely word and I am spurred by A Strolling Player's comment (100 words plus title! sweet!) to look it up in the OED:

    "Apparently < an unattested variant of paragraph n.with dissimilation of rto l(compare Old French pelagraphe, pelagreffe(both 13th cent.)), with folk-etymological alteration of the first element after pill v.1and of the second element after either (in α forms) craft n.or (in β forms) crow n."

    Some of that's a bit much, but pelagreffe is pleasantly hippogriffy.

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