This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Thing To Do Today: be polled.

A referendum takes years and years to organise, so we can't do one of those today. But we could do a straw poll because that's practically instant.

Straw poll isn't a common expression in Britain, though it's well-known in the USA, Canada, and New Zealand. A straw poll more or less consists of saying hands up who thinks...and counting the results.

So: hands up who thinks that teachers should be required to smile at least three times every lesson - and not in a gloating, evil way, either.

Hands up who thinks that chocolate should be recognised as an essential part of the daily diet.

Hands up who thinks that tinned sardines have rights, too.

If so much thinking is too much all at once, and tends to make your head hurt, then be glad you aren't a cow: polling a cow involves taking its horns off, which would surely be even worse.

On the other hand if you're a sheep then to be polled might only mean to be sheared.

The important thing is to avoid being hit with a poll, which is the flat side of a hammer, especially on the poll, which, again if you're a cow or another grass-eating animal, is the back part of the head.

There's a special computer meaning of poll, too - something to do with automatically asking terminals if they're ready to send messages - but trying to understand that sort of stuff makes my head ache worst of all.

And anyway, you're not a computer.

Are you?

Thing To Do Today: be polled. This word comes from the Middle Low German polle, which means the hair of the head or the top of a tree.

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