Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Interesting but not Important

ALL of these posts could have been marked "interesting but not important."

In Staines there's a mall.  There's a plaque high up on one wall, and it's visible from the food court that is up high, too, across a large open area.

Adam Daniel wrote a letter to the queen, when he saw that, when he was five (I think), and said he noticed she had been to Staines. He had been to her house at Windsor, and maybe the next time she was in Staines, she could come to his house for tea and a visit. Or some such. And he got a letter back from one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting. Very nice.

Outside and not far from that mall is a building with pretty brickwork, and a carved date showing the time it was built. 1899. Very pretty. I have no idea about those scrolly-brick things under the windows. But look at the windowpanes themselves. Those have not been there so long, not with those decals, anyway.

Here's the whole building front 112 years after it was built:

I thought I had already shared those photos, so if I had, sorry for the repeat. I couldn't find them on the blog this morning.

Here's a word we use differently.

Well, not any of those words. That's all fine. But in the U.S. we say a car would get a boot. But here, most of the cars have boots. They WANT them to have boots. Car boot sales would be worthless if car boots were those clamps they put on mis-parked cars.

My favorite British/American dictionary compiler ever, Chris Rae, defines it nicely:
boot: n trunk of a car. The boot of a car is the part you keep your belongings in. So called because it was originally known as a “boot locker” — whether it used to be commonplace to drive in one’s socks is anyone’s guess.

There are other things he doesn't bother to be nice about. I love his stuff.

Here's what he said about car boot sales (which I love—I love car boot sales):
car boot sale: n merry event where people get together in a field and sell the rubbish from their attic, under the secret suspicion that some part of it might turn out to be splendidly valuable. Not entirely dissimilar to a jumble sale. The term stems no doubt from the fact that this is normally carried out using the boot of your car as a headquarters. This sort of nonsense is now largely replaced by eBay, where you can sell the 1950s engraved brass Hitler moustache replica your father was awarded for twenty years’ service in the post office without actually having to meet the freak who bought it.

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