Words beginning with we...
Many people use the wrong spelling for weather and whether. Test yourself on words beginning at we.
"A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely." - Pam Brown.
Some words in the English language are strange and mysterious. Take the word "mulch", for instance. The quotation above presents a metaphor for friendship by imagining it to be a plant. Friendship, in Brown's imagery, is a hardy plant, requiring not much more than a thin soil to thrive. It does, however, need "mulch". In the metaphor, this "mulch" is imagined to be such gestures as small gifts and acts of communication. In gardening terms, "mulch" helps soil to retain moisture, just as acts of kindness keep friendship from shrivelling up and dwindling to nothing.
The word has a less pleasant sense, however, in that "mulch" is made of rotting matter. It's an odd word which relates to various German words meaning "rotten". But there is an older sense in English, melishe, which means good, crumbly, moist soil. Hopefully this is the sense Brown had in mind, rather than the idea of mulch as rotting matter. After all, it really would be rather rotten to treat your friends otherwise!
Test yourself with this spelling quiz.
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