[lit-ideas] Re: Pomegranate

  • From: Robert.Paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Robert Paul)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: 03 Jun 2004 18:24:07 PDT

David Ritchie writes:

'"Tams," by the way, are Scottish hats, "Tam O'Shanters") which I now repost to
save you the trouble of looking it up--what is the origin of "pom poms," the
things cheerleaders wave? ...'

Ouch, David, you're hurting me. Pom poms are rapid-fire anti-aircraft guns and
the like: remember the tracers going out from the aircraft carriers being
attacked by kamikazes in WWII? Them.

A pom _pon_ is 'an ornamental tuft or ball of yarn, feathers, silk, or the like,
worn on a hat or dress, on shoes, or on a costume. '

I know, I know--usage with its muddy sneakers has smudged the distinction, but
it's one my mother fought for during her years as a high school English teacher,
and I am charged with upholding it. (Apres moi: Babel.)

Robert Paul
The Reed Institute
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