short note: black strap molasses

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 28 00:31:07 UTC 2011

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 9:06 AM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:
> "sorghum"--the latter, the source of "blackstrap molassas," being _considered *inferior* to "ribbon cane,"_ the source of "ribbon cane syrup."

That could be why, in my hyper-boojie, family, we didn't do molasses.

Texas Bluesman, Mercedes "Mercy Dee Walton, in his song, Sharecropper
Blues/So Many Turn-rows/Dark, Muddy Bottom, sings:

I've walked down so many turn-rows,
I can see them all in my sleep
Sharecropping in this dark, muddy bottom,
With nothing but hardtack and _sorghums_ to eat

Perhaps the reason for the unexpected plural is, molasses X sorghum =
sorghums. I.e., for him, _molasses_ is plural.


  turn-row n. the space at the side of a field in which the horses
turn in ploughing, used as a path (U.S.).

1885    ‘C. E. Craddock’ Prophet Great Smokey Mts. 3   A young
man‥came to a meditative halt in the *turn-row.
1888    Atlantic Monthly May 677/1   All adown the *turn-row between
the ranks of corn.

And yet, I *still* can't feature WTF a _turn-row_ is! If a turn-row is
_at the side_, how can it, at the same time, be _between_? Quantum
agriculture? My vote is for _between_. Granddaddy truck-farmed as a
hobby and I, on many an occasion, walked all adown the space between
the ranks of corn and, from time to time, came to a meditative halt


In agriculture, a [turn-row] is the area at each end of a planted
field. It is used for turning around with farm implements during field
operations and is the first area to be harvested to minimize crop
damage. The rows run perpendicular to the lay of the field and are
usually two, three or four times the width of the implement used for
planting the field.

I still don't get it. I'm an embarrassment to my California-Aggie
heritage, I reckon.
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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