or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Stone's Throw

Yeah, it's me again. I don't know what the deal is. I can't seem to work up enough umbrage to rip apart some avoidable mistake that someone committed to print, I can't get really worked up about any etymology (I tried with "spinach" but my heart just wasn't in it), I haven't discovered any particularly captivating side roads of the English language, and those are really the only three things I ever talk about. I'm mostly just working and production-knitting (more hats to sell, and I won't get rich but a few extra bucks before Christmas will be nice) and reading and that's just about it.

Well, let's have this, anyway. It's better than nothing.

I ended up at the website for Fire Mountain Gems somehow, and I don't quite remember how or why and even if I did it wouldn't be that interesting, but pretty soon I was reading about Swarovski crystals on this page and saw this:

and what I thought was "'Greige'? What is that, some cheap made-up portmanteau of 'grey' and 'beige'? Typical copy-writers!"

But then I thought about it a little more, and it occurred to me that I had seen the word "greige" before, and that it was an actual word, which, in fact, it is. A second's thought will suggest that it sounds rather like Italian "grigio", as in "pinot grigio", a word which means "grey", which the rock in question clearly is. And this turns out to be correct: "greige", not entirely unlike "beige", is an adjective describing unbleached, undyed (and therefore greyish) textiles.

So maybe there's a lesson in this about not jumping to conclusions. Probably not, though.


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