This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Thing Probably Not To Do Today: dust.

You can never get rid of the dust. Never. Someone famously house-proud is said to catch the dust as it falls - but fall it will, for all eternity.

So where does it all comes from?

Dead skin, people say, but how can that be true? My skin isn't grey and fluffy, and anyway to produce the drifts of stuff in my bedroom I'd have to have the hide of a rhinoceros.

Outer space, others say, which is both more believable and more exciting.

Ah well. Quentin Crisp said that after the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse, and surely we ought anyway to have better things to do than move the dust from the indoors to the outdoors, just for it to make its inevitable way back in again.

Perhaps we should sit back and enjoy the silver velvet upholstery on a long-neglected surface.

Make pets of those dust bunnies.

And care for the poor hungry dust mites.

File:House Dust Mite.jpg
(Isn't it sweet? 


For dust is important. It's dust that helps make the sunsets glow, and life in the oceans depends on the iron in dust to survive.

We should celebrate it. Perhaps we should dust a cake with icing sugar, or a creamy drink with cocoa powder (look, dust is another contranym. Dusting can mean putting dust onto something or taking it off).

I suppose dusting for fingerprints is cool, too.

But otherwise...hmm.

Tomorrow. Yes.

That's probably the best day to do the dusting.

Thing Probably Not To Do Today: dust. This word is from the Old English dūst, and is related to the Old High German tunst, storm.


  1. Really like this post. A contranym is also something I didn't know about. Wonderful stuff. Far too hot to dust today, of course ,but I often find it soothing esp with a long ostrich feather duster!

    1. Thanks, Adele. I aways fear that rubbing a surface is just producing static that will attract even more of the stuff. Anyway, isn't it good insulation?