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8:48am on Tuesday, 2nd April, 2024:

Not so Different


I didn't spend the entire Easter weekend marking assignments while eating chocolate. My wife made me go with her to a garden centre yesterday, in the optimistic hope that there might be plants on sale that haven't yet bloomed. There were, but only in the form of seeds.

We weren't the only people wandering around looking at plants while trying to will away the closing rain clouds. There was a group of three women there, too, one of whom had opinions on every plant she saw.

Unfortunately, she only ever used one adjective to describe them: "different".

"Ooh, I like those, those are different."
"What do you think of this one? It's different, isn't it?"
"When they come out in bloom, they'll be different."

She did have some qualifiers at her command. The words "a bit" translated into "interestingly", so we had "Ooh, these poppies are a bit different" and "I haven't seen those before, they're a bit different".

The opposite of "different" wasn't "similar" or even "not different"; rather it was "not very different". "I don't think much of these roses, they're not very different", that kind of thing.

Emphasis also played a part: "THEY're different" meant she approved of the plants in question, whereas "they're DIFFERENT" meant she didn't, in a damning-with-faint-praise kind of way.

I don't know what she thought of the non-plants for sale because we lost track of her little group when the rain finally arrived.

We might come across her again some time. I somehow doubt that she always shops for her plants at the same place, though.

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