Thursday, April 15, 2004

  I find the way words drift & shift in meaning delightful.
  Yesterday I checked on the spelling of "triage" in my, admittedly 30 years old, Concise Oxford Dictionary, & found the definition given there was "the refuse of coffee beans".
  Since this was nothing like what I was expecting (& started to wonder if I had, in fact, the right word) I moved on to the ten years younger Shorter Oxford & found two definitions; "The action of sorting according to quality" which is much closer to current usage although apparently an older meaning since the second definition was "coffee beans of the third or lowest quality".
  & putting them together I came up with a new job, a "triage specialist" who wanders the waiting areas of ER words, oops, wards inspecting empty coffee cups to see if they can divine in the leftovers what the patient's ailment might be.....
  & I am delighted when I discover new words, especially those that I can relate to. The latest is "linkrot", what happens when that URL you've linked to suddenly vanishes from the ether.

No comments: