Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The grader is a familiar sight out here in the countryside. I live on a gravel road, and several times a year, you'll see the grader going by, smoothing out the road surface. There are sections of the road, such as just to the north of my place, which tend to get all rough like a washboard. Of course, the "leveling" doesn't last long, and so by and by the road gets like a washboard again.

Until recent years, I thought it was spelled "grater." Which sort of makes sense— what the grader does to a gravel road is similar to what a cheese grater does to a hunk of cheese. Then recently I heard someone refer to a grader as a "maintainer"— accent on the first syllable, "MAINtainer." I'd never heard that one before.



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