Archive for February, 2023

I didn’t say etymology because this is not about how a word came to be or changed in form or meaning over time. Instead, this is an anecdote about word usage where the word and its meaning has not changed but the situation referred to has changed. That sounds rather confusing until you hear the story.

Have you ever wondered why the container for beans or corn or soup or tomato paste is called a tin can. The obvious answer is that it is made of tin, or used to be anyway. Preserving food and other substances in cans began in 1810 with the invention of the tin can. By 1813 the first tin can factory was canning food for the military in England (1,2).

Why was tin used? It has a high corrosion resistance and a low toxicity (3). Already by 1818, cans were beginning to be merely tin-plated rather than entirely tin. Today, cans are plastic lined to seal them and prevent corrosion. There was a period of time when BPA’s and other plastics were used that are problematic for health, but that has gone away.

So, steel cans are still called tin cans even though almost no cans were even tin lined after the 1950’s. Though I have wondered about the persistence of this term, tin can, for many years, I regained heightened interest in the subject when I went to recycle metals the other day. Check it out at, “Where do I put steel and other metals?

What word usages can you think of that are leftovers from long gone situations?

  1. https://www.cancentral.com/can-stats/history-of-the-can
  2. https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-can-and-can-opener-1991487
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285957383_Corrosion_of_Tin_and_its_Alloys

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God’s Grace and Joy

In celebration and thanksgiving at my newest granddaughter’s safe arrival and for the purpose of blessing her based on her given name, I offer these few lines of verse. These poems come with prayers for salvation, purity, witness, and safety for my posterity.

Graced with God’s bounty fair
Oh, may it be Miss Annalise
With others plenty share
What you receive also release

Copious intense joy
From God’s supply Felicity
No shadow of alloy
A pure heart, no duplicity

This world an evil place
Will try to drag you down for sure
But trusting in His grace
Know well God in Christ and be pure

Inner beauty reveal
In the midst of troubles and pain
That Christ become more real
And the Gospel become more plain

So a true Francis be
In all faith and freedom in Christ
That people clearly see
God’s riches in Christ sacrificed

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I repeat myself a considerable amount on this blog, but it is a product of what I’m thinking (and maybe the beginnings of senility?). Anyway, repeating truth is a good thing. I love the “manifold grace of God” that He abundantly pours out on us for serving others. A full and running over cup is, well, full. I am overflowing with the arrival of my 12th grand-child. God has been so good to my family. Check out the pictures of my 6th Granddaughter.

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Through a Gorge

I went for a hike with a new friend from church. He just moved here from Southwest Washington state. So, get him out in the East Tennessee woods. I asked him how similar the woods and mountains are to where he came from. He said there are mostly conifers there but that the moisture levels and undergrowth are similar, though wetter in the winter in the winter there. If you would like to see a few pictures of our outing, then click on “On Through“.

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The two brothers and the two old men went for a mountain bike ride. I had claimed that I would dig my bike out of storage and repair it to go sometime, but it has not yet become a priority. My young friend from church graciously decided to offer that I ride his “spare” bike. It was far nicer than any bike I could ever imagine owning. I will still need to get my bike out and actually make an attempt at getting into shape. We had a fun, and at moments, intense ride on steep climbs and rocky descents. It had been so long since I had been on a mountain bike. It was good to cycle back around to this activity. Check two group pictures at “A Few Friends“, one of the guys, and one of the one guy’s family.

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Rocks, Roots, and Puddles

What are the most common sights on a hike? Yep, the title says it. That raises three why questions in my mind: 1) Why is that so? 2) Why would a sane person sign up for that? 3) Why, if these are most common sights, do you not remember these the most?

Answers: 1) Well, what you see most is what you look at most. The rougher the trail, the more you have to look down. Thus, rocks, roots, and puddles are your most common sight. 2) You have a goal or goals in mind: a view or unique destination to explore; exercise; clear your mind; enjoy the outdoors; spend a more relaxed, slower time with friends or family, or even alone. 3) The mind has an amazing ability to focus on what is desirable and profitable and shunt what is useless and painful. Shunting, as I see it, does not mean forgetting. It means storing out of conscious memory.

My daughter, son, his father-in-law, and I took a somewhat unique hike this morning. They came from the East and I came 1 1/2 hours from the West. We met at 6:45 to begin the hike. We even planned it on a day slated for rain. Click on Calloway Peak to see how it went.

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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18


Pointing to the One who made, saved, and sustains