Analog clocks

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Jan 15 16:25:28 UTC 2007

The left-loose/right-tight sayings are imprecise; they depend on perspective: When the top half of a nut (or pipe joint or jar lid) is moving leftward, its bottom half is simultaneously going to the right! And if a bolt (or pipe end or jar top) is threaded backwards (as sometimes happens), the sayings are unhelpful.

Incidentally, in regard to my earlier comment about the direction of water swirl in a sink drain or toilet bowl (in the northern hemisphere): I probably got the direction wrong.  Which is the point: Who can remember??  A conventional analog clock face, on the other hand, is neatly and sequentially NUMBERED.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 10:54:36 -0500
>From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>Subject: Re: Analog clocks
>At 6:55 AM -0800 1/15/07, Ed Keer wrote:
>>Lefty loosie, righty tightie?
>Ah, for me it was just "left to loose, right to tight"
>Or we could go back to _deasil_ and _widdershins_, which at least originally referred to something like "in the direction of the apparent course of the sun" and "in the direction contrary to the apparent course of the sun" respectively.  The way to check if this is what they *really* mean is to get the sun to rise in the west and set in the east and see if "deasil" and "widdershins" change accordingly--but I suppose we could do the same thing with analog clocks...
>>----- Original Message ----
>>From: Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>>Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2007 9:50:51 AM
>>Subject: Analog clocks
>>How will the digital generation deal with the highly useful concept of "clockwise"? It's kind of awkward to say (and think) "Like the direction water circulates in a toilet bowl in the northern hemisphere."

The American Dialect Society -

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