Friday, August 20, 2010

Gaurd* (for Guard*)

Some of the more gardeny gardeners I know have already begun to harvest some gorgeous gourds in their gardens. (Although a more guarded gardener might want to wait until after the first frost.) A gourd is defined as: "Any of several trailing or climbing plants related to the pumpkin, squash, and cucumber and bearing fruits with a hard rind; the fruit of such a plant, often of irregular and unusual shape; or the dried and hollowed-out shell of one of these fruits, often used as a drinking utensil." Some gourds are edible, but the word generally refers to the ornamental kind, which should be left alone to dry out on the vine. By the way, if you need a good way to call someone foolish or crazy, you can say that he's "off (or out of) his gourd." Be on your guard against today's typo, for which we got 17 hits in OhioLINK, including "Jimmy Gaurdino" (i.e., Guardino, who once played the voice of Charlie Brown on a TV special, although not the "Great Pumpkin" one) and "Gaurdi" (for the 18th-century painter Francesco Guardi). In the picture above, it looks as though the pumpkins are guarding the other gourds. Taken all together, though, I'd say they all look pretty happy with the arrangement.

(Pumpkin art on a church lawn in Needham, Massachusetts, 2007, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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