coffee grounds/grinds

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 14 18:01:02 UTC 2011

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 1:24 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:
> "coffee grinds"

That one is new to me. I'd "prescribe" - to coin a term - "coffee
grounds" without hesitation.

By coincidence, on The Judges, a tree-surgeon spoke of not getting
paid, even though he had "_grinded_ the two stumps" as requested. He
used _grinded_ several times in the pursuit of his money. So, it
probably wasn't a slip.

OTOH, doesn't "_ground_ the two stumps" sound kinda wrong, in any
case? IMO, "ground _up_ the two stumps" has the superior "mind-feel" -
so to speak - seem like to me. I'd also go with "ground _down_," in
this case, given that the surgeon mentioned the the stumps were now
"level with the ground." That is, he didn't pull the stumps out of the
ground and grind them _up_. Rather, he left them in the ground and
ground them _down_. Which is almost enough to make anyone go with


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 -

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