This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Thing To Do Today: conjure up a collins.

A what? I hear you ask: it's what I said when someone asked me about it, anyway.

Well, it turns out that a Collins can be several things. It's a tall thin glass, often used for serving a cocktail called, yes, a Collins (that's 2 parts spirits, I part lemon juice, 1 part syrup, and a soda topping. Whether it is to be shaken or stirred is apparently a matter for fierce debate).

It's also a very fine dictionary.

It's a type of 19th century lamp burner too - and not a lot of people know that, or, indeed, wish to.

Most fascinatingly, however, Collins has aquired an entirely new meaning, so new, indeed, that I haven't been able to find any mention of it yet on Google. A Collins suddenly seems to have come to mean a thank you letter. My guess is that it's named after Mr Collins in Jane Austen's book Pride and Prejudice, who was famous for his ceremonious, fawning, and unintendedly hilarious letters of thanks.

The promised letter of thanks from Mr Collins arrived on Tuesday, addressed to their father, and written with all the solemnity of gratitude which a twelvemonth's abode in the family might have prompted.

Ah well. Mr Collins is a fool, but he's not a villain. And, after all, he can't help being a fool. So good for him!

Thing To Do Today: Conjure up a Collins. A formal letter is sometimes too much, but thanks are always welcome in one form or other. So do thank someone. It's free, and will spread a little happiness.

If you have absolutely nothing to be thankful for then I suggest the cocktail version might be of help.

But remember to thank the bartender, please.

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