Friday, September 23, 2011

Exmaple* (for Example*)

It's the first day of fall today, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and our beautiful colorful maple trees, for example, will soon become ex-maples. Or at least, leafless, dormant ones. Maple trees make delicious syrup for pancakes and fun little whirlygig-type seed pods that we kids used to split open and attach to our noses with the sticky resin found inside. Apparently, we weren't the only ones. We also had a lovely Japanese maple tree, which sat low to the ground and had nice, smooth limbs that were perfect for sitting in and reading a book. It was like a giant's chair with a ruby-red canopy. The Latin word for maple is Acer, which means sharp (cf. acerbic), a reference to the pointed sides of its leaves. Another autumn memory involved selecting the prettiest, most recently fallen ones and ironing them between pieces of waxed paper: Voila! Acer art, refrigerator-ready. My sister has since elevated this pressing activity into one wherein she rolls ink over various leaves (and other things of nature) and then stencils them onto articles of clothing. All hail, the marvelous maple! Enjoy it while it lasts. There were four examples of today's typo in OhioLINK, and 37 in WorldCat.

(Picture of "delicate autumnal leaf veins," taken in Canada on November 20, 2004, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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