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#QIParty - @qikipedia's Twitter Follow-ups

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1121954.  Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:52 am Reply with quote

Ms Dragon is right and Twittering Elf has bought a myth. As the first edition of the OED noted:

"The Thomas Blanket to whom gossip attributes the origin of the name, if he really existed, doubtless took his name from the article."

Buying one myth doesn't mean you get your pointy ears cut off, but if there should ever be a second ...

1122636.  Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:24 pm Reply with quote

How many offences before the serious punishment of taking the hobnobs away?

1122638.  Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:32 pm Reply with quote

Article 4 of the ECHR prohibits such cruel and unusual punishment.


Stefan Linnemann
1122740.  Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:53 am Reply with quote

Better move that activity to the USA, then, where adherence to such treaties is optional.

Sorry, but I had to say it, in protest.

1124436.  Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:13 am Reply with quote

So Anna and I have been arguing about this for a few weeks. I'm a wizened of cynic and so, of course, think it's untrue. She thinks the OED may be being a bit cautious.

I think her point is that while there was a word blanket, it referred to any white cloth, the modern meaning of the word blanket was taken from this by a guy who was known locally as Mr Blanket due to his association with the cloth.

We've been able to trace it back to a Bristolian historian called Samuel Seyer (1757-1831) but no further.

My point is when an etymology sounds too good to be true it almost always is.

1124438.  Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:05 am Reply with quote

I think I read it had caused some discussion in the QI offices in an article about the podcast, but that was after I had filed my complaint.

Maybe you can agree that a blanket that is not white is not a blanket and any piece of cloth that is white can be called a blanket. Is it a white hankerchief? Nope, it's a blanket. At least if the point is to be annoying about words, which is what I tend to do with that sort of information.

Wikipedia claimed Mr Blanket lived in the 13th century, and I'd say a gap of 500 years is too much to make the claim believable, going from similar instances where cool etymologies have been debunked.

1124541.  Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:54 pm Reply with quote

That's true, but Seyer was a pretty well respected historian of his time. And I supposed if anyone's going to dig up an obscure 13th century Bristolian lost to history, it's as likely to be an 18th century Bristol historian as anyone.

Like I say, I don't believe it though.

1124542.  Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:01 pm Reply with quote

I dunno if this link will work, but it's p138 of Memoirs historical and topographical of Bristol and it's neighbourhood; from the earliest period down to the present time by Samuel Seyer;view=1up;seq=742

It's where Sayer mentions Thomas Blanket, he gives sources, but god knows if they're made up. According to biogs I read he sometimes struggled to get access to sources that he wanted...

1124572.  Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:47 pm Reply with quote

The link works, but all I can get out of the text is really that there was a man named Thomas Blanket who happened to work in the cloth industry. Given that Blanket, Blanchet, Blanchett and Blanquett have survived as surnames into the modern era (at least to the 1800s-1900s), I won't call that conclusive evidence.

He writes "In the year 1356 the King wished to consult the merchants..." and refers to the Rolls of Parliament, but as far as I can tell, there were no Rolls of Parliament in '56, at least not anyone that's made it to the modern, digital era. His footnote says "probably" and I assume that is doubt over the year, but the whole thing is a bit confusing to me. I'm not used to reading/researching these things, though.

1211240.  Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:24 am Reply with quote

On the subject of blankets, I have a Q. Only loosely related but I'm new to the forum so struggling to find 'appropriate' thread (if point actually merits posting) ---
What is the difference between COMFY and COMFORTABLE? is comfy just colloquial (and therefore probably more in the spirit of being comfortable tbh...!)?

p.s. Apparently 'As a noun comfortable is (US) a stuffed or quilted coverlet for a bed; a comforter.'

1211246.  Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:30 am Reply with quote

Hi AliceT.

Comfy is indeed short for comfortable. In my view, chairs etc can be comfy. I have never heard of a person who is comfy; in that case comfortable will be used.
But hey - I'm a bloody foreigner so could be wrong anyway.

1211256.  Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:08 am Reply with quote

"Are you comfy?"
"Yes, I'm comfy."

Sounds fine to me.

Never heard of "a comfy" being a noun, only adjective.

1211260.  Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:02 pm Reply with quote

A comforter (noun) is a bed cover in the US, but it's never called a comfortable (adjective), though it may indeed be comfortable on a cold night.

1211279.  Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:36 pm Reply with quote

I understand that the word 'duvet' is not used much in the US.

1211287.  Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:57 pm Reply with quote

It's used and indeed we have just bought one of the kids one for their Christmas. Comforter is just much more common.


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