This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Thing To Do Today. Or Not: list.

File:Lavenham - The Crooked House - geograph.org.uk - 234909.jpg
The Crooked House, Lavenham. Photo by David Barnes

My daughter's house is listed. This doesn't mean that the walls aren't upright (though some of them aren't) but that it's been put on the official list of English buildings built before 1700. It's a bit of a nuisance, really, because it means you have to get permission if you want to alter anything - even something ordinary like the drainpipes.

Still, listing things: it's a way of getting some thinking done in advance.

The sort of list meaning to lean over is a different word. It's usually used of boats, which can lean sideways a long way without falling over.

A sideways list is not a cool look for a person, but then neither is carrying a list, either of items to be bought or trains to be spotted.

Still...it's better than being listless, isn't it?

Thing To Do Today. Or not. List. The word meaning an item-by-item-record comes from the sort of list that means a strip of cloth, a selvage, a strip of bark, or a furrow. The leaning-over word appeared in the 1600s from no one knows where. The list of listless comes from another word list that meant to be pleasing, or to desire, or to choose. That word comes from the Old English lystan.


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