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Sundry things

     

digicamhelp

6:02 am on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



If you read the phrase "sundry things" do you think of items that are small or large in size?

alottolearn

5:36 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



small

stapel

12:33 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Merriam-Webster [wwWebmasterWorld.com] definition of "sundries": "miscellaneous small articles, details, or items".

So I'd echo the previous vote for "small".

Eliz.

jlr1001

2:33 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Semantics....

There's a difference between:

sundries - "small miscellaneous items"

-and-

sundry - "various; miscellaneous"

So when I hear "sundry things" I think of different, not necessarily related, items. Size doesn't even figure into the equation.

-jlr1001

Syzygy

2:53 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If I read the term "sundry things" I'd wonder why the author didn't come up with something a little catchier...

Syzygy

digicamhelp

2:56 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member




sundries - "small miscellaneous items"
-and-
sundry - "various; miscellaneous"

So when I hear "sundry things" I think of different, not necessarily related, items. Size doesn't even figure into the equation.

This semantic difference is important. In fact, I looked up sundry in an online dictionary and found the same definition. So that's why I inquired here. I'm planning to use the phrase:

"small and sundry things"

I do not want suggest large items. Therefore, I'm not sure if use of the word "small" will help qualify or quantify the use of the word "sundry" in that context.

What do you think? Thank you.

Beagle

6:33 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The two print dictionaries I have at hand (both from Webster's, but different formats) give "various; miscellaneous" as the definition for sundry, and neither mentions size. Both trace it to an Old English word for "separate."

It may be a case where there's a connotation that goes beyond the actual definition. One aspect of my copy editing at my day job is catching things like that, especially when an author likes to use "big words" but doesn't always understand their nuances. (Wish I could think of an example...)

When I hear "sundry," I connect it with the connotation of being small, probably because I'm old enough to remember stores that sold "sundries," which were normally small items. But younger folks may not make that mental connection, in which case the addition of "small" might be helpful.

shallow

7:13 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Unless I come up with something better, I've thought about using "small, sundry things" instead of "small and sundry things."

Hmmm, maybe if the word seems odd today, I shouldn't use the word at all. I'm also old enough to have heard the word used without trying having to run to a dictionary.

Then again, I'm an equal opportunity writer. The title is going to use the word "stuff" instead of using words such as things, items, products. :~)

shallow: aka digicamhelp

Clinton Labombard

9:52 am on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



'Sundry' makes me think 'panoramic and lusty'... 'small and sundry' makes me think 'lolita'. Stop looking at me that way.

And if the person reading it doesn't know the pronunciation, it just might look like you ran two words together: 'sun dry'.

tbear

10:00 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Regardless of size, I think of extra items of less importance but nevertheless pertaining too the main item, as in accessories.

But the semantic element is important.....

Interesting thread, by the way....

angy

3:53 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



FWIW. 'sundry' is a bit quaint.

But it depends on the context. If you were offering antiques -- " a box of sundries from the estate of Mrs Thomas Edward Smythe" it would suggest a small items.

How about ---

odds and ends...

bits and pieces...

What's the context?