It’s said that the Inuit have 19 different words for snow. Not to be outdone, the British have at least that many words for the concept of
I use the word ‘rain’, loosely and generically, to depict moisture in the air. Each word is a hairsbreadth away from its mates, in describing the exact level of cold, damp, and discomfort produced. Fog can be from light enough to safely land an airplane, to Pea Soup, which is so thick that you can break your nose, walking into a lamppost.
As the water particles become larger, and more likely to descend as precipitation, the British lexicon progresses from fog, to mist, to mizzle, to drizzle, to showers, to rain. But it doesn’t stop there. Brits variously describe their rain as, downpour, drencher, soaker, toad-strangler and kerb-cleaner.
Not to be left out, the Scottish language has generously donated the word
which means foggy, misty, cold and dreary. If you’ve watched the James Bond movie Skyfall, when he retreats to his family’s Scottish estate, you’ll have caught a glimpse of it. During this past summer, the BBC, and the police, received a spate of panicked calls from concerned citizens who had witnessed a strange glowing orb in the sky, and feared they were being invaded by space aliens. They were reassured when told that it was merely the sun. It does come out and shine – occasionally.
Any too-brief post about R, can only benefit from the inclusion of a reference to my Mountain Ash-tree strong GREAT-grandson
He, and his wardrobe of knitted clothes, and his vocabulary, and his curiosity, are all growing by leaps and bounds. Like many other young lads, he appears to have only two settings, a squirrel-on-meth, Nature’s version of a perpetual-motion machine, and, like a switch was thrown, a somnolence, a catalepsy so swift, that he can fall asleep while putting food in his mouth – at which point, at least one grateful parent often joins him in a brief nap.
Tune in again in a couple of days for Smitty’s Bible-Study seminar. Remember to bring your King James Version, and fasten your seatbelt. 👿