Monday, August 29, 2011


The next morning I woke groggy but happy in my gold bed and, after a gold power shower, went down to the ornate dining room and ordered the "healthy and energising" breakfast Tej had recommended. The banana porridge was sublime, as was the creamy yoghurt scattered with nuts.

This excerpt is from an article about a hotel that offers an insomnia package.

Next to my husband's snoring, if there's anything keeps me up at night, it's worrying about whether I'm right or wrong, and how I can find out.
And so I ask, isn't there something wrong here with the use of "scattered?" The way it's used indicates the yoghurt is scattered, but I am sure the writer means the nuts are sprinkled on the yoghurt. Or have the nuts been thrown at the yoghurt in such a way that the yoghurt has scattered about the room, in which case, the writer could just as well have chosen "splattered?"

Or perhaps the yoghurt has disappeared? Or been recklessly flung away? These are among the possibilities.

Scatter (v.)
1. a. to cause to separate widely b. to cause to vanish
2. archaic: to fling away heedlessly
3. to distribute irregularly
4. to sow by casting in all directions
5. a. to reflect irregularly and diffusely b. to cause (a beam of radiation) to diffuse or disperse
6. to divide into ineffectual small portions

intransitive verb
1. to separate and go in various directions
2. to occur or fall irregularly or at random

I do have to say that if I had to rise and eat a meal that included both porridge and yoghurt I might decide never to wake up again.

song of the day: The Way We Were

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