or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monday, October 20, 2008


So, yeah. I bought an iPod Touch. I read one review that said, more or less, "It's not a personal digital assistant, obviously," but the thing is that it is a PDA. It may be a music player on the surface, but it's got an operating system, a web browser (with wireless connectivity), a calendar, an address book, and a notepad, plus the ability to run outside applications, of which there are currently over a thousand available with more appearing every day. (It's even got a built-in application called Maps which triangulates your position based on where you're getting your wireless signal from, draws a Google Map around that point, and then allows you to set other points and draw the shortest route between them.) The Touch is a PDA, all right, basically the newest generation of the PalmPilot (which I owned one of, because I do love my technology), and I'm madly in love with it.


You wouldn't want to use the Touch's keyboard to write an entire blog posting, or at least not a long one, but I did use the notepad to take down some notes about things that it occurred to me to look up, and one of them was the word "mushroom". (I don't know what brought it to mind.) I mean, the word doesn't make any sense on the face of it, because it's not mushy, and it doesn't apparently have anything to do with rooms.

It appears instead that the word is a variant of Old French "mousseron", which is derived from Latin "musario", with the added fillip that the "mousse-" part of the word is influenced by French "mousse", which means "moss", and the word (again apparently) originally referred to mushrooms which grew on moss. "Mousseron" in Old French made its way into English as "moscheron", then "musherum" (and probably dozens of other spellings as well), and eventually into the word we know.

The appearance of the word "mousse" in a word which doesn't seem to contain it calls to mind the non-appearance of the word in one which does: "pamplemousse", which is French for "grapefruit".


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