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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 7 21:12:45 UTC 2006

Joel, an *ad guy* wrote that passage.

  One draws one's own conclusions.


"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
Subject: Re: "furling" = unfurling; "heart-rending" = affecting; "aghast"
= awestruck

Jon, what about the following sense, if one can
make the verb intransitive here? ("The flag furls in the wind.")

†3. To make undulations on (a surface); to furrow, wrinkle. Obs.
1681 J. Chetham Angler's Vade-m. x. §1 (1689)
98 Cloudy and windy day that furls the
Water. 1742 Shenstone Schoolmistr. 261 He+furls
his wrinkly front, and cries, ‘What stuff is
here!’ a1763 I Odes, etc. (1765) 206 Nor bite your lip, nor furl your brow.


At 12/7/2006 03:17 PM, you wrote:
>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."
> JL

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