Wednesday January 27, 2010: A Laundry List

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I heard it again yesterday.  An NPR reporter said something to the effect that, in tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama will have to address a whole “laundry list” of issues.  And, not for the first time, I wondered why it’s a laundry list.  What’s wrong with the perfectly good word “list?”  So, of course, I Googled it and found this definition from“–noun Informal. a lengthy, esp. random list of items: a laundry list of hoped-for presents; a laundry list of someone’s crimes.” And says it’s “(Informal) a lengthy, inclusive list of data, matters for consideration, etc., often one regarded as unorganized or showing a lack of necessary selectiveness.”

Okay, fine.  But that still doesn’t explain why it’s a “laundry list.”  Instead, why not  something perfectly simple like… oh, I don’t know… “long list?”  That works for me.  In fact to my ear, saying that President Obama has to address a “long list” of issues is more succinct.  But where did this term “laundry list” come from?  Another web site, called says, in part, “It may originate from as early as the Civil War, when soldiers would jot a list of their items to be laundered (and hopefully returned). In any event, it comes from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century when many sent their laundry out to be cleaned.” If you’re still interested, you can read the whole supposed etymology here.

Again, so what?  It’s a long list!

Okay, so I’m becoming a curmudgeon.  Yep, in just a few short years, I’ll be sitting in my living room, railing against the damn gubmint, they’re all a buncha no-good crooks and when I was a boy things were better and the so-called music these kids listen to these days is just a buncha damn noise and they don’t have any respect not like we did when I was a boy and hey!  You kids get off my damn lawn!

A Curmudgeon

Uh-oh.  A few short years?  I’m doing it NOW.  Well, except for the lawn part.  I don’t have a lawn anymore.  But if I did…

Today’s Curiosities

  • You’ll be thrilled to learn that the murderous inmates at Cebu Maximum Security Prison in the Philippines have learned a Michael Jackson dance routine!  This is it:
  • What every kid needs:  A bear sleeping bag.  Not a nice little cuddly Care Bear sleeping bag.  A big scary, nasty, flea-bitten, parasite-ridden real bear sleeping bag.
  • Here’s a simple, somewhat addictive time-waster.  My best score so far is 9 seconds.

And now, have a great, joy-filled day!


I warned you damn kids… get off my lawn!


2 thoughts on “Wednesday January 27, 2010: A Laundry List

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