25 September 2006

Odds and Ends; Bits and Pieces; Rats and Mice

Verse Libromancy
Go to Bud Bloom Poetry blog to get the Verse Libromancy button. Clicking on it will direct you randomly to one of over 500 literary sites on the web. Fiction, non-fiction and cultural commentary sites are included as well as poetry sites. The VL button code at Bud's site contains the listing if you're not willing to rely on serendipity. Link courtesy of Frank Wilson at Books, Inq. I've added the Verse Libromancy button to my sidebar on the right. Pretty cool.

AWAD Live Chat
Anu Garg at A Word A Day (AWAD) is hosting a live chat (9/26 6PM Pacific) with Paul Dickson, whose recent book is Labels for Locals: What to call people from Abilene to Zimbabwe?. Dixson has published several books. I'm particularly fond of Toasts; Words; and There Are Aligators in the Sewers. If you don't know AWAD, check it out. Anu's email will send you a new word every day with definition,pronunciation, and origins. Past chats with wordy people (ranging from cognitive psychologists to authors to dictionary editors) are archived on the site.

Dorothy at Of Books and Bicycles mentioned this explication of Marmaduke today. It may be my new Daily Zen.

Lastly, with regards to this post's title. The astute reader will notice that I have not mentioned anything to do with rodents today (I don't think I ever have). Several years ago, a co-worker told me that New Zealanders use the expression "Rats and Mice" to mean Odds & Ends or Bits & Pieces. Apparently some of our NZ co-workers told her that, but I never heard any of them use it. She was a bit gullable. Maybe they really were talking about rats and mice? Is anyone out there familiar with this expression? It doesn't seem at all the same as bits & pieces, rodents being nasty things that you want to be rid of, where as odds and ends fill up the junk drawers in our brains, precisely because we don't want to be rid of them!


Dorothy W. said...

Glad you like the Marmaduke blog :) I have no idea about rats and mice -- but it would be pretty funny if that were a practical joke!

Anonymous said...

I am sure I have heard mention of "rats and mice" as meaning bits and pieces, particularly on the older generations, like my grandparents, but have not been very successful in finding examples of current uses. The closest I have found is an economist talking of the consequences of tax cuts:
"They probably will have to cut education, health and social welfare ... Sure there are many other programs that can be cut – on the arts, defence, the environment, recreation ... – but they are rats and mice in comparison to the big three."