WHAT YOU'LL FIND ON THIS BLOG

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Evidence that you should probably just have rung Auntie Pat rather than visiting Fran's blog

Here are some musings inspired by the sofa which I am sitting on on which I am sitting never-end-a-sentence-with-a-preposition-call-yourself-an-English-teacher?

You could probably do without these musings, but if you, like me, are trying to avoid getting on with the real business of the day, you may find some random thoughts on a piece of furniture intensely fascinating.  Put it this way, do you want to stay with me, or do you want to go and iron those tricky pairs of jeans or make that awkward phone call to your Aunty Pat about the family party you are shunning, ostensibly because of a prior arrangement you have yet to invent, but primarily because you can't stand Uncle Frank?

I rest my case.

Unnecessary subtitle: My sofa.

Unnecessary picture of a sofa like mine:



I was intending to tell you a story about my sofa.  I may well yet do so.  The day is young.  But, before that, I want to know.  Why is a sofa called a sofa?  I'm going to look it up.  You go and feed the cat .......................




Unnecessary white space.







Well, whaddya know?  Here's the definition from www.etymonline.com - a site which tells you the etymology or origin of words.  Browsing it is one of my favourite things to do.  Do not judge me unkindly.  After all, you're still reading this, and I haven't yet said a damn thing of value.

Unnecessary subtitle: Definition of 'sofa' from www.etymonline.com

1620s, "raised section of a floor, covered with carpets and cushions," from Turk. sofa, from Arabic suffah "bench." Meaning "long stuffed seat for reclining" is recorded from 1717.

Well, there you go.   It's from the Arabic and it didn't even refer to a separate piece of furniture until 1717.  And look who was on the throne then.



Doesn't George 1st look just like the kind of person who would say, 'Puh!  You're not getting ME on that raised section of a floor, covered with carpets and cushions! Get me a long stuffed seat for reclining, or I'll suffocate you with my wig, you snivelling minions.'

So now we know.  Only, I now feel the need to find out where 'settee' - the alternative word for 'sofa' - comes from, and whether it referred to the same thing. I'm taking an educated guess - I reckon it's an Indian word.  It's that 'double ee' thing, like in 'kedgeree' and 'puttee'.  Let's see if I'm right.  Go back and feed the cat again - it didn't like the tuna flavour and wants to try the salmon .................







Unnecessary white space.










Okay, maybe not so educated after all.

settee - "long seat with back and arms," 1716, perhaps a variant of settle (n.), or a diminutive of set (v.) "act of setting."

Turns out a settee is as Indian as fish and chips.   In fact, I don't think they're really sure where it comes from, do you?  You can hear them, behind the definition, going 'er .. it could be ... but ... well .... perhaps .... or maybe .... ah, flip, someone put the kettle on!'

Hm.  'Sofa' from 1717.  'Settee' from 1716.  Why?   What do you call yours, readers?  Or are you reading this while sitting on a raised section of floor, covered with carpets and cushions, you purists, you!

 
I have bewildered you for long enough with useless and trivial guff about furniture, and you really do need to phone Aunty Pat.  The story about my sofa can wait another day.  Or, perhaps, in your interests, for ever.

Unnecessary sign-off:  The End. 



30 comments:

  1. Fran, Fran, Fran dear, there I was, wasting time going through whatever Blogger calls 'your (my) blog list’, saw a new post by somebody who calls herself an English Teacher (who should know better than to fritter away time which could be spent much more productively on actually teaching) and what do I find?

    IRONING JEANS?

    IRONING JEANS?

    I R O N I N G JEANS? (I could go on but I’m sure you’ve got the message by now)

    I still haven’t recovered and am now reclining on my chaiselongue, breathing hard. I’ll let you know when the palpitations stop.

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    1. Is it just me, then, who irons jeans? No one else? Come on, readers. Reassure me ..... Friko, I'm sorry to have given you palpitations, but any excuse to sloth about on a chaise longue is surely a gift.

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    2. I iron jeans. And surely, oh teacher of English, the verb 'to sloth' doesn't exist....does it?

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  2. What a surprise. I drop in to read a post couched in the language of the lexicographer, and end up reading The Divan Comedy!

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  3. No mention of the pouffe? Pwah! You are merely an amateur in your prevarication!

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    1. You are right. Right this minute I have my legs up on a pouffe, and I didn't even give it any credit. I apologise.

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  4. I am reading this reclining on a chaise longue (and I had to look up the spelling. Ts ts). But the cat ran away 13 years ago.

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    1. Oops. I just saw that Friko was reclining on her chaise longue, too (great minds?). Ok, then. I'll just lie on my sofa.

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    2. Something tells me I gave a lot of people permission to be horizontal today.

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  5. Love the unnecessary white space. Now because of you I'll be thinking of George I when I look at my sofa.

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    1. To be honest, from the picture, I think he'd have been better off to sit on a sofa himself. He looks jolly uncomfortable.

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  6. Thankfully Settee doesn't have suttee at it's root.
    May be a Suttee is in fact the act of a settee spontaneously combusting on accumulation of crumbs and unmentionable fluff.
    Apologies for the unnecessary capitals, picking crumbs out from under my keyboard has caused havoc with my typing.

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    1. Didn't know 'suttee' and just looked it up. Ouch. You made me laugh about the crumbs, though. BEEN THERE!

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  7. Of course you iron your jeans! That is, if like me, you have an inherent knack for looking rumpled 15 minutes after you put your clothes on. We need all the help we can get.

    And if it's the exotic East to which you're longing to return, consider the ottoman. . .

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    Replies
    1. I used to even iron my husband's white handkerchiefs. That was back in the day, though, before I dragged him into the Kleenex age.

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  8. If I ironed your jeans for you, would you phone Aunty Pat for me? You know how difficult she can be - and she won't hear a bad word said about old octopus hands..........

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    1. Sounds like a bargain. I have twenty-six pairs of jeans.

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  9. I don't iron jean or much of anything else. Fortunately, I never really learned how to iron. I can't stand Uncle Frank, always staring at my bodacious ta tas.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. You could always iron Uncle Frank. That should sort things.

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    2. Hmmm. I'll consider it. I guess I'd need an iron and would have to figure out how to plug it in.

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  10. This reminds me of a sign I used to pass on the establishment of some purveyors of fine raised platforms etc etc..

    'Sofa King - Cheap!' (It's the way you say it)

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  11. What is an iron ?

    Sofa / settee ? Don't mind what it's called so long as I can curl up on it with a throw ( blanket ) and a cat - I have four to choose from. Four cats that is not four sofas / settees. Of those I have two. They are known as two seaters but mine is all mine ( and the cats ! )

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    Replies
    1. Don't worry, BadPenny. In your world, I think an iron can stay as a type of golf club....

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  12. When one of my daughters played Puck in a strangely modern version of Midsummer Nights dream at university , Titania was to be seen sleeping on an ironig board ....

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    1. Tit-iron-ia? How odd? I wonder what they were trying to say!

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    2. We have a cartoon called Madam and Eve, and Eve is often seen - taking her break napping on the ironing board. It works in a cartoon, but in RL on stage?

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    3. We have a cartoon called Madam and Eve. Eve is often seen taking her break napping on the ironing board. It works in a cartoon, but in RL on the stage?

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