||[Mar. 9th, 2009|08:36 am]
There's a new snippet up at the Paksworld blog.
I mean to put one up on my birthday in each of the blogs but things got busy and I missed one.
The plumber's here now and has just pointed out that the fumes from the gas hot water heater weren't going out the vent to the roof because the pipe was disarticulated (that was R's term; the plumber said "broke.") So it's a good thing I asked for the heater to be evaluated and we're lucky the house is so leaky.
By the end of the day, maybe, we will have two fewer leaky faucets, the last of the new toilets installed, two old toilets gone, the hot water heater checked out, and (in an unrelated situation) both horses "shot up" with their spring stuff, Coggins tested, and floated (equine dental work is called "floating" for reasons I've never understood. A tranked 1500 pound horse does not "float.") With luck, the vet won't arrive until after the plumber has gone and I've had time for lunch in between.
Or not, the way things have been going.
It's called "floating" because the instrument is a "float" -- but I can't remember why it's a float and not just a rasp. It's been too many years since I worked with horses, and all my textbooks are related to small animals, exotic animals, or ophthalmology. If I can find a dentistry text in our library, I'll look it up.
I knew the instrument was called a float, but not why--they look like regular rasps with a handle and they're certainly not "floating" over the teeth, either.
I agree; there's no floating anywhere, so I suspect it's an ancient term that has mutated over the years into the word we know. Just about every term that's horse-related has some backstory that indicates how much the meanings of words have changed. (e.g., "Proud flesh"? "Firing"? "Cropper"?)
All this just makes me start singing "Tradition" (from "Fiddler on the Roof"), and trust me, you don't want me singing.
You guys got me curious. According to dictionary.com the term 'float' can refer to making a surface smooth (e.g. plaster) which would fit the idea (it shows up in multiple definitions and terms. Of course having the UK people using horse-float for horse-van makes things more interesting when talking to people from multiple cultures. Sort of like headcollar/halter or flake/pat/slice/section/etc. (of hay).
You and your "pounds". I got a mental picture of a Shire Horse before making the necessary calculation to get the approximate weight in sensible kilograms. ;-)
2009-03-09 06:03 pm (UTC)
Context is everything
Sensible kilograms are modern and don't fit with that fictional universe...remember, they tell time with their version of an hourglass or by looking at the sun or stars, and measure distance in paces, hands, and how long it takes to walk or ride from here to there. The measure of cloth is a furl; the standard weights in markets are (for larger weights) standard stones.
2009-03-09 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Context is everything
And oops--my mistake--I looked at the head of the topic and not the part of the post you were replying to...DUH. Well, around here we do still use pounds, but he is awfully big. Half warmblood, and easily looks part-draft--feet like platters, big head, big heavy neck. If he only had the loins to go with his girth, and the joints up his legs to go with his weight and his feet and head, he'd have been a better athlete.
I'm not sure what the floats had that my vets used before the last two visits (didn't think to look and do not trust my visual memory) but the new instrument rotates, like a Dremel or rotary sander on a long handle. While assisting, I wasn't handling those instruments (there were two, both with rotating heads; I presumed one was a coarse and one a finer grinder.)
I remember now that when my mother was teaching me to do drywall work (we were remodeling her old garage) it was called "taping and floating" the joints of the drywall. (Why didn't I remember that when musing about the word in relation to equine dentistry? "Now I'm 64...")