First, thanks to you guys who lent your encouragement after Thurday’s post.? They say it’s times such as these in which you find out who your friends really are.? I’ve known who you are for some time now, but I appreciate your comments and the phone call I got this morning.
Now, on to other things.? I read in a comment on a different blog the other day that Jesus “towed the line”? with respect to biblical law.? I’ve seen that expression used many times.
I doubt if Jesus ever towed a line.? I have no doubt, however, that he toed the line.? That’s the expression.? Toe the line.? As in horseshoes.? As in bowling.? As in archery or riflery.? As in Bozo’s Grand Prize Game.? You keep your toes behind the line, or you put your toes on the line.? You don’t allow your toes to cross the line.? You toe the line.? It means you’re paying close attention to the rules.
See, expressions mean things.? Even metaphorical ones.? Language makes sense.? “Tow the line” doesn’t make any sense.? If you don’t know what an expression means, or why it makes sense, don’t use it.? You can’t say what you mean if you don’t mean what you say.
I once had a student who turned in a paper in which he stated (in the introduction) that there were “several” reasons to support his thesis. ? He then went on to give about ten reasons.? I did not count off for his misuse of “several,”? but I did ask him if he knew what “several” meant.? He said, “many.”? I replied, “No, many means many.? Several means more than two or three but not many.? If you mean many, just say many.”
On an unrelated subject, what has happened to the accents in r?sum??? I have letters from people asking me for a resume or thanking me for a resume.? A resume?? Doesn’t resume mean to return to one’s prior activities?? How does one submit a resume?? I can, however, understand submitting a r?sum?.? That reminds me of a time when I was in college that I went to the grocery store for my mom.? On the shopping list she had written that she needed a can of “beef consume.”? I didn’t know what kind of beef she wanted to consume, so I brought home a can of beef consomm? instead.
It turns out that the beef consomm? was a reasonable substitute for the beef consume.