So the other day was a big day in the history of the United States. We have a new president and hopefully the country will be able to get itself turned around to a better direction. My boss was nice to not say anything about me bringing my laptop from home so that I could work on the work computer and watch the morning to night activities of the inauguration. I enjoy history and hearing all of the little facts, plus, I love Washington D.C. I would like to go back since it has been nineteen years since I have been there. Sigh, I’m getting old. Living in the western United States we don’t have old buildings that are hundreds of years old like in the Eastern states and definitely nothing like Europe. Second sigh, I want to go back to Europe too.
January 20, 2009 will be a great day in history but the next day, January 21, 2009, I learned a new word. I thought for a minute that my boss has lost his mind completely. I was typing a document for him when I got stopped on a word and had to ask what a “swale” is. Then I had to look it up on dictionary.com because “by the mouth of two or more witnesses you shall know all things.” There it was . . . swale is a real word.
sweɪl Show Spelled Pronunciation [sweyl] Show IPA Pronunciation,
–noun Chiefly Northeastern U.S.
1. a low place in a tract of land, usually moister and often having ranker vegetation than the adjacent higher land.
2. a valley like intersection of two slopes in a piece of land.
I guess if I had grown up in the northeastern United States I would have known that word but I didn’t. I live here where our oldest buildings are about 150 years old (give or take a few) and there really aren’t too many of those. Here we would call it a wash or ditch and in Kansas it might be a gully.
The funny thing is that my boss grew up here. He hasn’t lived anywhere else but here. He must have been watching a lot of This Old House on PBS and listening intently to the landscaping guy’s word usage so that he would seem more informed than others (and me).
Oh well, it’s a day for me to make down in my journal tonight about the historical day I had in a swale without the lovely landscape of 200+ year old buildings on either side of me. By the way, his use of the word swale is definition #2 because #1 just sounds nasty.