Revised as of 28 September 2017
I realize that you can wear pearls and purls. You can even wear pearls or purls — or both! — around your neck. But that sentence context is so important. One set of pearls around your neck is slim, a mere string of beads while a “strand” of purls could be mighty thick wrapped around one’s neck.
I know, I know, pearls may grow to be fairly large — the Pearl of Lao Tze is 9.45 inches in diameter! — but I don’t personally know anyone who could afford a string of pearls that size. And if I did, I’d hope they wouldn’t be silly enough to wear a necklace when each pearl weighed over 14 pounds!! I certainly can’t imagine any purled scarf weighing that much.
As for wearing perles. Well, yeah, there have been times when my pills have stuck to my hand when I tip them out of the bottle. I do, however, flick them off fairly quickly. I cannot imagine running errands while wearing one or more perles. For one thing, that gelatin containing the medication would dissolve and release all that powder. For another thing, they just don’t make colored capsules that coordinate with the colors in my wardrobe. Ewwyewww…
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Merriam-Webster: pearl|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adjective 1; Noun 2, 3;
Verb 4, intransitive & transitive
Noun 5, 6;
Verb, intransitive 6 & transitive
Of, relating to, or resembling pearl
Having medium-sized grains
One that is very choice or precious
Something resembling a pearl intrinsically or physically
A nearly neutral slightly bluish medium gray
[British] Picot 3
[Medical] One of the rounded concentric masses of squamous epithelial cells characteristic of certain tumors
[Medical] A miliary leproma of the iris
[Medical] A rounded abnormal mass of enamel on a tooth
A feminine first name
To sprinkle or bead with pearly drops
To form into small round grains
To give a pearly color or luster to
[British] Picot 3
|[Medical] A soft gelatin capsule for enclosing volatile or unpleasant-tasting liquids intended to be swallowed
A fragile glass vial that contains a liquid (as amyl nitrite) and that is intended to be crushed and the vapor inhaled
Denoting or relating to a knitting stitch made by putting the needle through the front of the stitch from right to left
[Singular] A purling motion or sound 6
A circle or curl made by the motion of water 6
One of a series of small loops along the edge of lace braid 7
Thread made of twisted gold or silver wire 7
I like using pearl barley in my soups.
We saw her pearled like the queen.
She wore a string of pearls.
Pearls of dew glistened on the roses.
She is a pearl beyond price.
“…pearling computes the position and radius of an adjacent pearl based on the image data…” (Wikipedia).
It’s like scattering pearls before swine!
Pearl and her sister are coming over for dinner.
Pearl S. Buck wrote a number of books about China.
We pearled the barley.
Raindrops pearled like beads on the window.
The sky pearled a beautiful bluish gray.
Pearling allows the user to extract a higher level parametric representation of each tube or of a network of tubes (Rossignac et al).
|I can’t imagine a practical usage for the fragile perles, but the idea of a gelatin capsule to contain the taste of bitter medications sounds like a great idea.
Fish oil comes in perles.
Vitamin E perles can be pierced by a pin to access the oil and then the pin can be used as a stopper for the hole.
The sweater has a nice contrast of knit and purl stitches.
I learned to cast off and bind. Tomorrow I’ll learn how to purl.
I purled three and knit one.
Cast 35 stitches upon each of three needles and knit around 30 times in single rib — that is, knit 1, purl 1, alternately.
Adjective: pearlish, pearllike
|History of the Word:|
|1 First known use: 1610
Middle English perle from the Anglo-French, probably from Vulgar Latin *pernula, which is a diminutive of Latin perna meaning upper leg or a kind of sea mussel. It’s also akin to the Old English fiersn meaning heel, the Greek pternē.
|1885-90 from the French literally meaning pearl.||5 Mid-17th century and of uncertain origin.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?