Posted by Smokey Stover on March 09, 2005
In Reply to: Re: It's plumb frustrating posted by Rosie Riveter on March 09, 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?
: : PLEASE DO NOT ERASE prior postings. The custom at this site is to add to the bottom of a post - without erasing - so that one may click on the most recent post and see the whole thread. Please. If we remember that the L@t. word for lead is plumbum, we will never confuse plum with plumb.
: :Mea Culpa. Was unaware of erasure etiquette. Newby at pc and web. Love this library right at home. No urge to "chat" until surfing "florida swampland" and ran across this site. Boring Latin teacher 48 years ago---did not teach "plumbum"--but it DOES make sense. Thanx for both enlightenments. RR
Smokey does not confuse plum with plumb. But Smokey has never heard the phrase "a bit of a plumb," while he has often seen in print the phrase "a bit of a plum." SS