5 responses to “Vocabulary of the day, courtesy Bob”

  1. springheel_jack

    Cool. That is just like Sherlock Holmes’ drunkard’s watch:

    I began by stating that your brother was careless. When you observe the lower part of that watch-case you notice that it is not only dented in two places but it is cut and marked all over from the habit of keeping other hard objects, such as coins or keys, in the same pocket. Surely it is no great feat to assume that a man who treats a fifty-guinea watch so cavalierly must be a careless man. Neither is it a very far-fetched inference that a man who inherits one article of such value is pretty well provided for in other respects.”

    I nodded to show that I followed his reasoning.

    “It is very customary for pawnbrokers in England, when they take a watch, to scratch the numbers of the ticket with a pin-point upon the inside of the case. It is more handy than a label as there is no risk of the number being lost or transposed. There are no less than four such numbers visible to my lens on the inside of this case. Inference–that your brother was often at low water.

    Secondary inference–that he had occasional bursts of prosperity, or he could not have redeemed the pledge. Finally, I ask you to look at the inner plate, which contains the keyhole. Look at the thousands of scratches all round the hole–marks where the key has slipped. What sober man’s key could have scored those grooves? But you will never see a drunkard’s watch without them. He winds it at night, and he leaves these traces of his unsteady hand. Where is the mystery in all this?”

  2. sugarcollider

    the tobacco and old alcohol aroma of its owner

    Quite familiar with this smell from years riding public transit too.

    1. dmlaenker

      The trains usually don’t smell like that here. The buses sometimes do.

  3. kasheri

    My father in law had a whiskey car. It was scraped all down the sides, where you could see that he’d driven home via braille. Chilling.

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