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Monday, 16 November 2020

Spot the Frippet: mess.

 There are those - and I live with one of them - who rather like to live in a mess.

These are the kinds of people who, if they see a neat pile of papers, will unconsciously push it askew as they walk by.

The way to deal with them, I find, is to put things away in their proper place. An untidy person will never find them. They're too busy prodding hopefully through the slithering piles of things on the floor.

Anyway, mess: a cocooning balm to some souls, the visual equivalent of serial music to others.

Today, I'm going to try to appreciate mess.

And then, tomorrow, I'm going to tidy it all up.

Spot the Frippet: mess. This word arrived in the 1200s from France, where mes was a dish of food (military institutions in Britain still eat in mess halls). 



Officers mess, Tidworth, Wiltshire, England. Photo by Chris Talbot

Missus is Late Latin for a course of food, and mittere means to send forth or set out. So the word has flipped from a sense of order to the exact opposite.

There are no illustrations of mess in this post. But then you know what mess looks like, don't you.


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