This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 23 December 2016

Word To Use Today: present.

Have you been bombarded with catalogues this year, all bursting with suggestions for things to buy as presents for Christmas?

My absolute favourite suggestion this year has come from the excellent nhbs. According to them, the perfect gift for Christmas is a volume entitled Provisional Atlas of the Aculeate Hymenoptera* of Britain and Ireland, Part 9. 

(I am particularly delighted by that Part 9. The Provisional adds a certain relish, too.)

Suggestions for presents from other catalogues have included a Trick Electric Shock Pen and an inflatable crown (one for the head, not the teeth, which would be even more bizarre).

Strangely enough not one single catalogue has offered to sell us what we in our household really want for Christmas, namely a Robinson Moth Collecting device:

photo by Donald Hobern

some artists' light bulbs, and a life-sized resin model of a lamb.

I make you a present of these suggestions. Just in case in helps.

Word To Use Today: present....hang on, present as a noun isn't listed in my Collins dictionary. How odd. Never mind, Oxford tells us that this word comes from the Old French phrase mettre une chose en present á quelqu'un (though that doesn't look like Old French to me). It means to put a thing into the presence of someone.

*Aculeate Hymenoptera are bees and wasps and ants.

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