Posted by Rosie Riveter on March 08, 2005
In Reply to: Re: A bit of a plum. posted by Smokey Stover on March 08, 2005
Zed or his friend misheard, misspoke, misunderstood, misspelled or misused the phrase. The leaning tower of Pisa is either "off plumb" or "out of plumb." I've heard workmen use them interchangeably.
Phrase has nothing to do with a sound-alike fruit spelled plum. An "off plum" would logically taste bad, have a worm,or be very spoiled. BAD fruit would not constitute a "plum" assignment, or be "peachy keen" or the "apple of my eye." Little Jack Horner would be "off" if he stuck in his thumb and did NOT pull out a plum.
Plum is good. Plumb is good. "Off" is the key word to bad connotation---as used in "out of line" or "off kilter" or "off color" or "off the wall." But DO NOT ask me what a kilter is. Or even why folks are "disgruntled" but no one ever says they are "gruntled."
Smokey et al are "mixing apples and oranges" by confusing a lead weight with a prune which has not dried out yet. The "b" is not enunciated.
You plumb the depths of your soul. Don't plum them. And don't call a plumber for the job. Eh?