or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, November 17, 2005

All Over The Place

I try to post every day, but having a cold just kind of sucks the energy out of you. When you get two colds in rapid succession--I tell you, my workplace is a Petri dish--it's even worse. You know what time I went to bed last night? Eight-fifteen. Eight-fifteen!

Anyway. There was a piece in, as usual, Boingboing.net, about a meteorite; all well and good, but what really caught my eye was a lovely word I'd never encountered before, in this paragraph:

Over the next three years, Peary’s expeditions managed to load the pieces of the metoerite onto ships despite severe weather, engineering problems, and having to build Greenland’s only railway specifically for the task. Upon arrival in New York City, the source of Greenland’s Iron Age was sold to the American Museum of Natural History for $40,000. Several more large masses have since been found and recovered from the strewnfield, including, in the 1960s, the 15-ton Agpalilik, thought to be the legendary "Man" and fourth member of the Cape York family.

"Strewnfield". Isn't that nice? And you can figure out what it means just by looking at it! It's explained, if you need an explanation, here.

And thinking of "strew" and "strewn" made me think of "strow" and "strown": Answers.com has no sign of either, which made me wonder if I had imagined them. The OED, of course, came to the rescue, letting me know not only that "strow" was a real live word (if wonderfully archaic), but that the origin of both "strew" and "strow" is the Old English "streowian", which, I guess, explains both vowels. (In case you were wondering, they both mean "to scatter", they have matching past-tense forms, "strewed" and "strowed", and they also have matching irregular past participles, "strewn" and "strown".)


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