Monday, July 07, 2008
tomato, wild, crane
Don't forget the flowers, humble though they may be.
The word "wild" seems to have a new connotation nowadays, as in "wild salmon" to distinguish it from farmed salmon. "Wild rocket", so described by supermarkets and seed merchants, is not really wild but a variety close to that which, one assumes, is found in the wild. Now I read in today's paper of "wild snails". Madeleine le Chartier, from Culey-le-Patrie in the hills of lower Normandy is quoted by the Indpendent newspaper as saying; "Wild snails, they are quite different. Ah the taste of wild snails!" Both "wild" and the French "sauvage", however, suggest to me something free and slightly dangerous and beyond our control.
In the train a man, says to another man, sitting opposite him, in facing window seats: "There's a big crane, out there". "What sort of crane? asks the other. "A mechanical crane," says his companion. Crane is not strictly speaking a homograph since the origin of the word for a mechanical crane is the same as for the bird, the machine being named after the bird. The same applies , I have noted, in other languages. For example grue in French and grua in Spanish