or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monday, April 02, 2007

Clean and Shiny

I was reading this Consumerist story about Geek Squad and one word that popped up a lot was "refurbish".

Not every English word that starts with "re-" carries within the meaning "again" ("retina", to name one), but nearly all of them do (especially those from Latin roots--though "retina" is actually from Latin: it's related, wonderfully, to "reticulum", which means "net"), and I assumed that "refurbish" was just such a word. But if it was, then "furbish" must surely also be a word, and when was the last time you heard anybody use that? Never, that's when.

But "furbish" is in fact a word, something I did not know before tonight. It means "to clean: to restore to a usable condition". To refurbish, then, is to do this again--to take something that was originally usable but fell into disuse, and return to its original state.

Now that you know it, will you use it? Me neither. But I love knowing it exists.


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