Today’s quiz: Potted can mean: a. Conceptualized. b. Fertilized c. Summarized d. Hypnotized

Did you know deep in the forest there can be a veritable nighttime light show, after a fashion? Under certain conditions fungi can emit an eerie crepuscular glow. This aura is called foxfire. Transposing foxfire yields the fox of Finnish lore, Firefox.

Another ember from the backwoods is will-o’-the-wisp. It refers to the ethereal glow of swamp gas at eventide. It’s a synonym for anything of a fleeting character, like a goal that seems unrealistic…a castle in the sky.

A whip-poor-will is a nightjar with an enchanting call.

Talk about unrealistic goals, did you ever hear the expression, bell the cat? According to fable a baronial estate was occupied by a cat and a mischief of mice. The mice were understandably worried about becoming a meal for the cat. So they devised a plan. A mouse volunteer would pin a bell on the feline’s collar, to serve as prompt warning of the feline’s approach. Problem was, no mouse would volunteer for such a fraught task. Moral of the story: Don’t waste your time making plans that aren’t workable. Don’t try to bell the cat! There’s a noshery in Belfast, Maine that bears the name Bell the Cat!

Note that ‘fraught’ can be used as a stand-alone, as above, to mean carrying angst and peril. You can use fraught to indicate carrying other things as well, but in that case you are obligated to specify what is being carried. For example, fraught with rancor, fraught with complications, fraught with what?

“Hold that thought!” And you can express that another way…use ‘bracket’ to indicate hold in abeyance. “Let’s bracket creation while we talk cosmology.”

Sauvage is a classy French mot. It screams wild and free. In Louisiana it bespeaks heathenism! It’s not used much presently, but let’s see more of it!

Answer: c. Summarized



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