Saturday, January 11, 2014

Symbolic Sugar

The term came up because I used one of those punches intended primarily for punching holes through paper—so that sheets may be placed in a three-ring notebook. The device is quite good for punching holes through belts as well. Quite contrary to what I see when I issue from the shower, I seem to be getting thinner; therefore my belt must be tightened at intervals. Well, the punch had been used, since the last time, for its intended purpose, and as I cleaned out its hollow tube, bits of round papers fell out as well. “Look, confetti,” Brigitte said. And then she wondered what the word meant.

Well, it comes from a Latin word meaning “to make with,” therefore the word “ingredients” is being understood. Comfacere. The word came to be associated with light pastry and candy later. The m in com got changed to an n. Our word “confection” comes from it. In Italian this turned into confetti—and originally meant small candy thrown into crowds at festivals.

Later on it turned out that it’s a lot cheaper to toss tiny bits of paper than heavier candy. A tightening of belts, perhaps? So there you are. When they rain confetti on us, we are receiving symbolic sugar—and that’s good for an attractively low Body Mass Index. Mine is almost normal; not quite, but almost.

1 comment:

  1. How charming. I shall imagine bits of colorful sugar whenever I see confetti from now on.


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