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 March 2016

Thing To Do Today: coax.

Image titled Get a Cat out of a Tree Step 1

An odd word, coax

In fact, the more I look at it the less it looks like a genuine English word, even though it's been around since the 1500s, and in this spelling since the early 1700s.

We spend a lot of time coaxing things: ketchup out of bottles, rabbits out of the chimney (well, okay, that was possibly just me), hair into or out of curls, vegetables into children's mouths, vegetables into adults' mouths.

The ketchup example is, I think, particularly interesting. Obviously I know little of your spiritual beliefs, but as far as I know no one among all the billions of humans on the planet has ever imagined ketchup to have the gift of sentience; and yet still we coax it, even talk to it come on, then, just a small dollop on the chips. Thank you! just as we coax ovens to light (my own oven needs a very gentle hand), and cars and lawn mower engines to purr into life.

Good luck with today's coaxing, whether it's getting a toddler to put on his coat, the dog to leave the lamp post, the husband to put out the bin, or the jeans to fit over the hips. 

Coaxing things is a sign of hope, after all; just as kicking them is really a sign of despair.

Thing To Do Today: coax. This word comes from the noun cokes, which meant a fool.

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