"furling" = unfurling; "heart-rending" = affecting; "aghast" = awestruck

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 7 20:17:07 UTC 2006

Back in 1798 someone used "furling" to mean "unfurling," and OED caught it for our delectation.

  Well, they're at it again:

  2004 [http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages/reagan_se.html ] : The Ronald Reagan Silver Dollar takes the U.S. Government’s magnificent .999 Pure Silver Eagle Dollar, and adds a full-color, official portrait of President Reagan in the Oval Office. Through NCM's brilliant color artistry, a vibrant image of President Reagan stands before the American flag and the official Presidential flag, above his personal signature. On the reverse, the great eagle shines through the furling flag, emblazoned with his heart-rending words: “What I’d like to do is go down in history as the President who made Americans believe in themselves again.

  The Reagan Dollar was heavily advertised on TV, possibly in those very words (I specifically recall "heart-rending").  A current ad for a different silver commemorative for a like demographic also misuses "furling."

  Me, I'd say "waving." But "furling" is like, you know, more flaggy.

  You've noticed "heart-rending."  It reminds me of a full-color religious message I once read that reacted to the wonders of creation by saying, "We stand aghast!"  That meant "awestruck."


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