Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pickles Aren't Always Pickled

The Lemming's working on tomorrow's post, which has to do with architecture and design: business-as-usual, with the Lemming's new schedule. Naturally, a discussion of a remarkable skyscraper and cultural issues brought the Lemming's train of thought to pickles.

For the Lemming, that sort of thing is "natural." Your experience may vary. And probably does. Which is another topic.

Where was the Lemming? Posts. The day after today. Architecture. Pickles. Right.

Pickling is what you can do with cucumbers, watermelons: just about anything edible, and some things that aren't. But that's not the sort of pickle the Lemming was thinking of.

Definition time! The Lemming's a recovering English teacher, which might be why there are so many of these digressions into what words mean - and even why they mean what they mean now, and didn't mean the same thing a few hundred years ago. Which is another topic.

Here's what "pickle" means:
  • Pickle, noun
    1. Vegetables (especially cucumbers) preserved in brine or vinegar
    2. Informal term for a difficult situation
  • Pickle, verb
    1. Preserve in a pickling liquid
    (Princeton's WordNet)
Will knowing that "to pickle" something means preserving it in a pickling liquid enable you to bring about world peace, end hunger, and win the lottery? Probably not. Will knowing that a pickle can be a preserved cucumber or a difficult situation that has nothing to do with vegetables, vinegar, or brine bring you success in your career, an acne-free complexion, and brighter, whiter teeth? Almost certainly not.

But the Lemming likes to know what words mean: and maybe you do, too. Or, not: which is also okay. Although that brings up the question of why you read this much of the post. And that is yet another topic.

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