Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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The passing of string

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

I think string is a dying technology. I tie up a bundle of newspapers for recycling every couple of weeks. I've been accumulating a stack of papers for a couple months now, because I ran out of twine and couldn't find any more.

I used to buy it at the grocery store, it was with the paper and plastic bags, or the housewares, or the office and school supplies. Then it disappeared. The store clerks didn't know. I tried another grocery. No string. I tried a drugstore and Mail Boxes Etc. in the same plaza. No string. I finally bestirred myself to find a Wal-Mart, and they had twine, but it was well-hidden.

I don't think people use string or twine anymore. I use it for the newspapers (most of my neighbors put them in paper shopping bags, I think), and for lacing up chickens for roasting, with stuffing inside. That's it. Brown paper packages? I don't think the Post Office will even accept packages bound with brown paper and string any more, even though this used to be the standard way to mail them. The string probably catches in the automatic mail-handling equipment.

There's still room for strands of matter spun out into linear and flexible form. Fishing line will be with us for a long time; likewise suture (although staples and wound adhesive are encroaching on it). Rope is here to stay. Sewing thread will be indispensable for a long time. And I'd really like to see Sinclair monofilament. But string and twine, like phone booths in the era of the cell phone, are things that seem to be going away.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Sub-Zero fridges and warm Gore-Tex mittens,
Broadband connections with very low ping,
These are a few of my favorite things.

meaning: plain, origin
原子 == genshi == atom
草原 == kusahara == grassy plain

Left radical is 'cliff', right radical is 'spring', a variant of (泉). Thus, 'cliffside spring', and more generally, 'source/origin'. 'Plain/moor' may be a borrowed meaning. Henshall suggests  as a mnemonic:  'Originally cliff with funny spring, now a plain.'


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