[Ads-l] When is a grate not a grate?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 24 13:00:05 UTC 2015


The correct answer is not "Gunther Toody" but "Britney Spears."

JL

On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 6:21 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: When is a grate not a grate?
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I have a theory that the use of the word "grate" to refer to the door to
> the cellar came from the days when coal-fired furnaces were in the basement
> of buildings, and the grate was a mechanism for allowing smoke to escape
> while still securing the space. The grates also acted as doors. For
> example, coal and other supplies would enter through the opened grate.
>
> Over time, the grates were replaced by actual doors, but the word grate has
> survived, eg, in the headline of the article I linked to.
>
> Question: should this usage be in OED?
>
> Regards
> DanG
>
> DanG
>
> On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 5:48 AM, Geoffrey Steven Nathan <
> geoffnathan at wayne.edu> wrote:
>
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> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Geoffrey Steven Nathan <geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU>
> > Subject:      Re: When is a grate not a grate?
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > A discussion of this around the dinner table with my wife (who grew up in
> > Central Brooklyn in the fifties) revisited several songs talking about
> > 'cellar doors', which is what she thought these things were
> > called--definitely not 'grates', which are what cover the holes through
> > which you can hear the subways.
> > The songs date to the eighteen nineties, and are left as an exercise for
> > the reader. They were discussed by one of the other Geoffs a few years
> ago.
> >
> > Geoff
> >
> > Geoffrey S. Nathan
> > Faculty Liaison, C&IT
> > and Professor, Linguistics Program
> > http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
> > +1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
> >
> > Nobody at Wayne State will EVER ask you for your password. Never send it
> > to anyone in an email, no matter how authentic the email looks.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> >
> > > From: "Dan Goncharoff" <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> > > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > > Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:06:55 PM
> > > Subject: Re: When is a grate not a grate?
> >
> > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > -----------------------
> > > Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > Poster: Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> > > Subject: Re: When is a grate not a grate?
> > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > > This seems to a consistent usage in NYC, calling the metal doors in
> > > the
> > > sidewalk leading to the cellar a 'grate'.
> >
> > > I suspect this relates to older uses of "cellar grate" that refer to
> > > an
> > > actual grate, but it is tough to verify.
> > > On Jan 22, 2015 8:01 PM, "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> >
> > > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > > -----------------------
> > > > Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > > Poster: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> > > > Subject: Re: When is a grate not a grate?
> > > >
> > > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> > > ------
> > > >
> > > > At 1/22/2015 02:13 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> > > > >On Jan 22, 2015, at 1:23 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > The source story has a photo of the metal cover which does not
> > > > > look like a grate:
> > > > >
> > > > >True. Looks rather more like a hole--not so grate.
> > > >
> > > > Fell through the hole left behind by the grate that went missing?
> > > >
> > > > Joel
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > >LH
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__nydn.us_1CjbYs0&d=
> > >
> >
> =3DAwICAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYi=
> > >
> >
> ZRsMFFaLQ&m=3DgSCXPK8E2VHC2DJ58pQdzfUHcn1ysuPVbw7CrFbr2_4&s=3DmolrfMPwC05KT=
> > > 55cjtPNBwC4NQar_Vc1zlMAqHbhViI&e=3D
> > > > >
> > > > > > Benjamin Barrett
> > > > > > Formerly of Seattle, WA
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Lean Ainu!
> > > > >
> > > >
> >
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttps-3A__sites.google.com_s=
> > >
> >
> ite_aynuitak1_home&d=3DAwICAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2b=
> > >
> >
> f13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3DgSCXPK8E2VHC2DJ58pQdzfUHcn1ysuPVbw7CrFbr2=
> > > _4&s=3DEaiWCrrnPjMzqU3J2nBeEPb2HulI9uJy48-1l7ummuU&e=3D
> > > > >
> > > > > >> Dan Goncharoff <mailto:thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> > > > > >> January 22, 2015 at 8:27 AM
> > > > > >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > > > -----------------------
> > > > > >> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > > > >> Poster: Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> > > > > >> Subject: When is a grate not a grate?
> > > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> > > ------
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >> There was a recent news report about a man who "Falls To His
> > > > > >> Death
> > > > Through
> > > > > >> Sidewalk Cellar Grate".
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > >
> >
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__gothamist.com_2015_=
> > >
> >
> 01_19_cellar-5Fgrate-5Fdeath.php&d=3DAwICAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3D=
> > >
> >
> wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3DgSCXPK8E2VHC2DJ58pQdzfUHcn1=
> > > ysuPVbw7CrFbr2_4&s=3D78QLVD5mKA6g-L4sRvSM_u1J-okfkcFFPbGZwIN7CvA&e=3D
> > > > >
> > > > > >> As the story later reports, however, he fell doors, not a
> > > > > >> grate.
> > > > > A grate is
> > > > > >> a lattice, not solid.
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >> What am I missing?
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >> DanG
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >
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> >
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