This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Saturday, 2 December 2017

An importunate chink by Edmund Burke: a rave.

Reading maketh a full man, says Francis Bacon; but then he lived before the invention of the tabloid press and Twitter. Nowadays it's easy to be full to the point of being thoroughly fed up.

Still, there are treasures everywhere, even on Twitter (@CatBake is a particularly glorious example) and this, below, is a treasure I found in a newspaper, though not one of the tabloid variety. I am greatly indebted to Charles Moore and the Daily Telegraph for drawing to my attention this quotation from Edmund Burke's Reflection on the Revolution in France.

As it happens, Edmund Burke did his writing before the tabloid press and Twitter, too. This is from 1790.

Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadows of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.

Although it isn't only British oaks, of course, but American redwoods and Australian eucalypti and Cedars of Lebanon and a whole world of assorted greenery.

Here's to the majority, eh?

Word To Use Today: cud. This word comes from the Old English cudu , from cwithu, what has been chewed, and is related to the Old Norse kvātha, resin, the Old High German quiti, glue, and the Sanskrit jatu, rubber.

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