Wildlife

Went out for drinks after work last night with the rest of the CEISMIC team, to a cafe just off campus.  It was a lovely evening, so we sat outside, and it was all very pleasant.  So much so that when everyone else started to drift away to gym classes and dates and children’s bedtimes, I decided to stay on and have dinner there.  Very nice sitting out on the balcony reading my book and enjoying my meal in the evening sunshine.
Parsnips was obviously not impressed by me staying out though – she registered her protest at me not coming home to feed her at the appointed time by taking matters into her own hands paws, so I came home to a trail of feathers through the house and a dead bird in the middle of the lounge.  Good thing I was planning on cleaning the house this morning anyway, but I suspect that despite much hoovering I’ll still be finding feathers in odd corners for some time – she really did manage to get them everywhere.
I don’t think I can blame her for the other bit of wildlife I found while cleaning, though: the most enormous spider lurking in the bathroom.  I think it probably got blown in through the partly-open bathroom window in those big winds the other night …which means he’d been lurking in the bathroom for a couple of days.  The bathroom that I’ve been using, completely unaware of the horror hiding in the corner.  Yeah, don’t want to think about that – let’s pretend he’d just come in seconds before I discovered him!
While cleaning I was contemplating the mini-Harvestbird’s statement, as relayed to me by her mother, that housework would be more fun if it involved Lego.  My first thought was that involving Lego in housework would probably end up with me either standing on a piece, or sucking some up in the hoover and then having to dig through the dust to find the bits.  Which led me to ponder a linguistic question:  I’ve often heard Americans refer to Lego as “Legos”.  Whereas here it’s most definitely “Lego”.  I’m not sure if that’s because we’re treating “Lego” as a mass noun (like flour or water), or (this may sound like I’m repeating myself, but I think there is a subtle difference here) if it’s because “Lego” as a noun means the system as a whole, not its components, so to refer to an individual brick we have to use Lego as a modifier, calling them “Lego bricks” or “Lego pieces”.  But if Americans call them Legos, does that then mean “Lego” to Americans can refer to a single brick?  So, a question to my American friends: when you step on a brick, do you say (insert suitable expletives of your choice depending on the degree of pain 🙂 ) “I stepped on a Lego!” or “I stepped on a piece of Lego!”?

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5 Comments

  1. Unfortunately after reading what you wrote I could no longer answer the question… 🙂 So I asked my daughter vaguely. She says Legos. And stepping on one brick would be a Lego.

    1. Yeah, that’s always a difficulty with asking linguistic questions – it’s very hard to describe the question without influencing the answer. But your daughter does seem to confirm what I suspected – thanks!

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