_ash pit_

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 20 01:53:49 UTC 2011

On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 8:26 PM, Paul Johnston <paul.johnston at wmich.edu> wrote:
> I know clinkers from Scotland, where, when I lived there, everyone in the countryside had a coal fire, really old-fashioned or semi-modernized.

That's cool, Paul, but can you describe them?;-)


A hard mass formed by the fusion of the earthy impurities of coal,
lime-stone, iron ore, or the like, in a furnace or forge; a mass of

That's a good definition, but, unless you've had the pleasure of
having to break up the clinkers in order to get them out of the
furnace - they act as insulation, preventing the heat from its parent
coal from reaching the boiler, not to mention that the furnace would
eventually be filled up by the clinkers - you can't really know what
they are. They're kinda funny-lookin', like Steve Buscemi.

During The War, coal was the fuel of choice in StL. In the winter, you
would have sworn that you were in Industrial-Revolution England. The
smog and the stench were *awful*! A local newspaper, the
Post-Dispatch, eventually launched a successful campaign against the
use of coal. After the late '40's, I didn't smell coal-smoke again
till I was in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood and occasionally found
myself downwind of a messhall.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list