This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Thing To Do Today: mince.

Well, why not? It's not as if you don't have a choice of activities. You can divide something into small pieces, or you can walk the walk, or you can talk the talk.

Now, my Collins dictionary says mince means to chop, grind or cut into small pieces: but that can't be right. That gives you chopped, ground or cut stuff. Mincing is different. Ground coffee beans aren't minced.

Surely the only way you can mince something is with...well, with a mincer. Traditionally it should be one clamped onto the kitchen work surface, and it should need the strength of a silver-back gorilla to work and the engineering skills of Isambard Kingdom Brunel to take apart to clean.

There's something squashy about the act of mincing that chop, grind or cut just doesn't cover.*

Ah well, perhaps the walking sort of mince is easier. Small dainty steps, and hands held above waist level. That's it. Lovely.

The talking sort of mince is interesting because no one ever does it. They only don't do it. I didn't mince my words, they say, meaning they said exactly what was on their minds and didn't bother about softening it for the sake of politeness.

Hm. Not sure whether to recommend that or not.

Ah well. Have fun, anyway.

Thing To Do Today (or Possibly Not): mince. This word comes from the Old French word mincier, and before that from the Latin word minūtia, smallness.

*I've just remembered that minced beef is called ground beef in the USA. So I suppose my theory falls down there. Whoops...

1 comment:

  1. My granny had a mincing machine like that! I loved it and used to enjoy pushing carrots into the top, to push the meat through, so to speak. And yes, washing it was fun and reassembling it even more so...And you're right. Mincing is NOT chopping or any of those other things. Not even the American GRINDING...Ground beef...yuck! Sounds awful..much more squashed than mince. There, that's me not mincing my words...sorry USA!