This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Thing To Do Today But Only In A Good Way: ferment.

It's usually yeasts that ferment - that is, change sugar into ethyl alcohol: 

File:Composite fermentation tanks.jpg
(Photo by Cjp24That's red wine in those tanks.) 

but it is possible for people.

A person who's fermenting is stirring up trouble, or seething with excitement.

It can make a nice change in a dull and disillusioned world:

2013 Woodstock / Source: Wikimedia Commons and Ralf Lotys
(Photo: wikimedia commons and Ralf Lotys)

 or, on the other hand, it can be hugely destructive:

 



On reflection, I suppose it might be sensible to proceed with caution on this one.

Thing To Do Today But Only In A Good Way: ferment. This word comes from the Latin fermentum, yeast, from fervēre, to seethe.

NB Foment is a similar word and it can mean a similar thing - to stir up trouble - but if you use foment then you have to be fomenting something. You can be left fermenting; you can't be left fomenting*.

*When I say can't, what I actually mean is that a few fussy people will raise an eyebrow in happy contempt if you do. 

But, hey, they probably don't get that much pleasure out of life...


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