Convenient Language

August 2, 2019
Posted by Jay Livingston

Sometimes words change because of the way they sound when linked to other words. A “napron” (from the French naperon) was a protective cloth. It still is, but we call it “an apron.” The same process of “rebracketing” gives us a nickname, from the Old English an eke name (an additional name). More recently, I’ve seen “bake potato” on the diner menu and  “whip butter” at the supermarket — the “d” sound of the past participle dropped or blended into the next word.

Currently, I’m out of the city. Yesterday, I needed something (calamine lotion if you must know) and did not want to drive a half hour to the nearest supermarket and CVS. I was told that the gas station / convenience store in our small town, two minutes away, might have it.

I couldn’t help noticing the sign on the row of parking spaces.

It makes perfect sense. It is, after all, a convenient store. Very convenient since it did have calamine lotion.

No comments: