Saturday, 1 March 2008

Recycling (1)

Recycling, v. According to the OED, the word was first seen in print in 1926 in the Journal of the Institute of Petroleum Technologists, referring to an industrial process.

It was not used figuratively until forty years later, and ever since then all kinds of things have been re-cycled: hot money (Guardian, 1969); the output of the secondary schools (Nature, 1973); workers without jobs (Black Panther, 1973); fads (Weekend Magazine, Montreal, 1974); OPEC funds (Newsweek, 1974); repeat offenders (Washington Post, 1978), and so on, to this day.

I'm punctilious about putting bottles, paper, and plastic containers out for re-cycling, and it has now occurred to me that I should take the same care with the contents of Other Men's Flowers. Of course, the 741 posts currently mouldering in OMF's archives are unlikely to cause large-scale pollution , or to contribute towards global warming by giving off methane, so they are not an environmental hazard: it is a question of energy-saving, an equally important concern. If at least some of these items are re-used there will be a huge reduction in the amount of energy expended in creating new ones.

So I have decided that, starting today, the first post in every month will consist entirely of some old items, unchanged but dusted off and economically re-packaged with merely a note of the category and a description linked to the original. All these appeared in 2004:

Are actresses all actors these days?

Pea-pushing: A sport in decline

An inspired choice of a screen name

Noël Coward speaks

Comparing the great ones

A sly tribute to Somerset Maugham

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