Thursday, 2 December 2010

Another world

Surrounded, these days, by reference books to help with a distance learning course, I keep getting sidetracked by words and phrases which are at best tangental to the course, but which happen to interest me at a particular moment.

This morning, looking out from the cabin living room at Ringhaddy Sound, I used an Americanism which seemed to be a propos, and went in search of its derivation. I thought it spoke for itself but I wanted to see what 'the world's most trusted reference book' thought; and it gave the phrase as 'North American informal, said to express the belief that something is amazing or incredible'.

Only the Oxford would be snooty enough to use 'said to' in that way - it might as well have said, 'apparently, over there..'

Anyway, this was the thought process that prompted the search: I know that the UK is blanketed in snow because a) we watch the news, b) Lynn's mother and sister have had their return flight to Edinburgh cancelled twice, the runways having been available only for two out of the last seventy-two hours, and c) I have sent dozens of texts and made dozens of calls since last night, to try to keep a staff rota on the road - literally - in the face of black ice, blizzards and snowdrifts in Co. Down.

But here I was, looking out the window on a different world altogether:-

Go figure.
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