Favorite

Lavatory or swim:

“Once home, Spouse Observer got started on the demolition (The Observer’s not lazy, it’s just a really small bathroom). Behind the wall where the sink had been, we found an archeological relic: a small piece of wood, not attached to anything, with a shopping list written in pencil on one side.”

A reader says: “I think you meant ‘lavatory.’ A sink is in the kitchen.”

I too grew up believing that the thing in the bathroom where you washed your hands and brushed your teeth was the lavatory, and the thing in the kitchen where your mother washed the dishes was the sink.

The Random House gives some support to this belief. A sink, it says, is “a basin or receptacle as in a kitchen or laundry, usually connected with a water supply and drainage system, for washing dishes, clothing, etc.” RH doesn’t say where in the house a lavatory is most likely to be found, but hints that it would be the bathroom. A lavatory, RH says, is “a bowl or basin with running water for washing or bathing purposes; washbowl.” But I know people who refer to such basins as sinks, wherever they’re found. Some of these people even look at you funny if you mention washing your face in the lavatory, because to them a lavatory is a toilet, or a room containing a toilet. This is particularly true in Britain, where they also refer to the lavatory as “the loo.”

I’ll continue calling the bathroom basin a lavatory, and the device in the kitchen a sink. But I still call a refrigerator an icebox, and perhaps am not the best model in these matters.



I’ll take the Parker house, you take the cinnamon:

An article explaining soccer to Americans said, “Formations are the way a team lines up its players at the start of the match, and vary from team to team. During game play, teammates often switch rolls from offense to defense positions.”




Favorite

  |  

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

  • Clarke Tucker challenges French HIll to series of debates

    Clarke Tucker, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has called on Republican incumbent Rep. French Hill to reconsider his refusal to participate in a televised debate in September and to join him for a series of three debates.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Abduction suspect arrested during threatened jump from bridge

    Danny Trent Barrows, 38, wanted for abducting his child earlier in the week, was arrested Wednesday as he attempted to jump off an Interstate 49 bridge near Mountainburg.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Wage campaign reports financial backer

    Arkansans for a Fair Wage, the committee backing an increase in the state minimum wage, reported this month a $350,000 contribution from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington-based nonprofit that has funded advocacy campaigns for social and environmental causes around the country.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: People vs. corporations

    • Voting for the minimum wage is not an example of doing something "for the people."…

    • on August 15, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation