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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: The long and short of things

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, November 29, 2018

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving.

I’m sure most of us are thankful for the big and the little of it. How many times have you heard the parallel of big and little?

We find that we like to say big or little in describing a happening. Like I find myself saying I need to take a little nap whereas, if time permits, I’d like to take a big nap.

My friends know I go to two different churches, a little church and a big church. Usually, I go to both churches in the same day. My big and my little church! Do we refer to size or congregation? Content or lack of content? Big preacher or little preacher? So many variables with those two words. Big. Little.

It has even entered the jokester’s world. Why did the police officer arrest the turkey? Because the turkey was suspected of fowl play!

What did the big flower say to the little flower? Hi, Bud.

Oh, well. A favorite of mine in the Christmas season: Why do Dasher and Dancer love coffee? Because they’re Santa’s star bucks!

All of those would be considered little jokes. That’s good, because we seniors can have short or little attention spans. Never big!

In the 1937 edition of the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition of the word big was completed in seven lines. In 2008, it took 20 plus lines to define that little three letter word.

The opposite of big? Yes, it’s the word little. In 1937, it took 14 lines to define little with the lines climbing to 22 in 2008.

I lay in bed in the wee hours not so long ago thinking about these two very common words. I know, “Get a life, Em.” But you know how I am with words!

Here in Warrenton, we seniors have a little library as opposed to Seaside, which has a big library. We have a little restaurant, soon to become a big restaurant. A little store compared to our big stores.

Some of us could be called little while others could be defined as big. Little and big, however, do not always apply to size or height. A noise could be big or little and still be a noise.

I used to belong to a weight loss group where we declared big was a bad word. However, it was good when we had a big loss.

Big and little can come into the conversation when we talk about our furniture. Often our emotions kick in.

We widows may think that if we replace the long couch with a love seat something might “happen.” I don’t know, I’ve had one for more than five years and nothing has happened. You know, a gentleman comes over and simply plops down in the middle of the loveseat like it is a wide chair!

This Thanksgiving, perhaps I’m thankful I didn’t live in the era of George and Charles Merriam or I would never be sure what to say. Little or big?

That is the big and little of it.

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