Monday, April 09, 2007

Idiot Strings

Upon finding my blog (ie. being ordered by me to read it) most people ask "What are idiot strings?"

I can't blame them for not knowing. When I used idiot strings, I didn't have a name for them, and it was long after I used them that I learned that that's what they are called.

So what are they? They're the strings that are threaded through the sleeves of your winter jacket and tied to your mittens so that you don't lose them. (I'm not an expert on parenting, but I imagine it's probably best not to call them idiot strings to your kids).

It's probably a good thing that I had them. Even still, at least once per year, I would lose my mittens if I didn't have a friend around to act as virtual idiot strings. Not only that, but it seems that I could use them for a few other day-to-day items. She with whom I am in most regular contact knows that my pen frequently goes missing, sometimes for days at a time. Just this morning, I got a knock on the door informing me that my keys were still in door to my apartment, and the front office staff in the math department recognize the "I've locked myself out of the office again" look.

According to my dictionary (Canadian Oxford), "idiot string" is a Canadian term, even though few Canadians seem to actually know what they are, and before my blog became the online hit that it is (averaging 11 page loads and 7 unique visitors per day! w00t! Take that google, microsoft network, and yahoo!) googling for idiot strings brought you to a bunch of sites all of which seemed to be located in the US. Hooray for national self-misconceptions! (I think we can be pretty sure that "toque" will always be ours though.)

Meanwhile, nobody on the internet seems to know what idiot handles are. You get a prize if you can (a) give the correct definition of idiot handle and (b) find an internet site where the term is used correctly.

1 comment:

Erica said...

According to http://www.ivwheelmn.org/newsletters/april2007.pdf, idiot handles are "gimmicky brake assist units that allow rider to brake from tops of bars."