Pinball Brain

First – the weather report. At 11am it is bright and sunshiny, blue cloudless sky and 63º. I have a window open in every room and my husband and I are wearing hoodies.

I compose these posts mentally and then basically “transcribe” them and then edit, add to, research etc. I write everything mentally first then put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I assume everyone does the same.

Transcription follows.

I get annoyed when people say that they lose socks in the laundry. No you don’t. You’re just careless.

This morning was a laundry day and I was folding the laundry (which I do in the laundry room because there is a big table there). I have a particular way of taking clothes out of the dryer and folding them. This morning the last thing I fetched out of the dryer was a sock but the other sock was nowhere to be seen. I figured it was just stuck in something else and I would go through everything when I got back in the apartment. (And indeed I found it.)

Losing something is usually just carelessness. Whenever I hear a person say that they lost someone, meaning the person died, I think “Careless of you”. In a book I read recently one of the characters mused about that usage. Why are we so precious about saying that someone died? Then again when you say “I lost someone” meaning they died you are talking about yourself not the dead person. Your status, not theirs.

We also say passed on, passed away, even crossed over– and I suppose if you believe that a soul continues after a body dies, that could make some sense, have some validity.

But what about ‘evicted from life’? Some people are, aren’t they? Some people die quietly at peace, and some die kicking and screaming. How did someone die? They were evicted from life. Evicted from life – I like that.

Then I was back to thinking about laundry again and expanding on how you could possibly lose something in the washer. And that had me wondering…

We say a pair of underwear, or panties or pants when we are referring to just one item. Why? Because there are 2 leg holes? Is that the criteria for calling something a pair?  If there are 2 matching items used together, like shoes, then pair works.

An item of clothing that we put our arms into isn’t called a pair but it has two openings/holes for limbs (legs and arms are limbs) but we don’t say a pair of shirts.

(Stopping typing here to do the research. The answer is HERE.)

And that’s it for today.

8 thoughts on “Pinball Brain

  1. I hadn’t heard of plurale tantum before. From Wikipedia: “In English, pluralia tantum are often words that denote objects that occur or function as pairs or sets, such as spectacles, trousers, pants, scissors, clothes, or genitals. Other examples are for collections that, like alms and feces, cannot conceivably be singular. Other examples include suds, jeans, outskirts, odds, riches, surroundings, thanks, and heroics.”

    I like the “cannot conceivably be singular” bit.

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  2. I thought the whole pair of pants thing stemmed from the early 1800s – later 1800’s ladies underwear was in two parts as in two legs and not one like they are today. It is just something that has carried on through history and no one has ever corrected.

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    1. That would be like the pantaloons theory – personally I think someone just started saying that and everyone went along with it so they made up some language/grammar explanation to fit.

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      1. Maybe, l remember reading about it during a retail study course l took thirty odd years ago. It always struck me as odd as to why we could them a pair of socks and a pair of boxers and whilst [like you] l could see the sense in the socks as there were two, everything else just seemed odd.

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