Tuesday, 29 March 2011

lillydale, lilly dale and lilydale

I visited Lillydale Lake recently. It's odd that this lake is smack in the middle of a township called Lilydale.

Apparently there are a few theories as to why the township was originally spelled with the doubled letters. Here's an explanation from OnlyMelbourne:
The discovery of gold in the upper Goulburn River and Woods Point areas in the late 1850s caused the formation of a miners' access track. The place where the Woods Point Road crossed the Olinda Creek was chosen for a town survey. The origin of the name is uncertain. One version is that the Government surveyor, John Hardy, suggested that the town be named Lillydale after hearing his chainman singing a popular song "Lilly Dale". The name was also inspired by the surveyor observing lilies growing in pools of the creek. The other version is that a district surveyor's wife was name Lilly. Council clerks and the local schoolmaster shortened the spelling to Lilydale.
Given that the town was named in the 1850s, the song theory seems possible, as the tune was written in 1852 and was sung in America in the 1850s. Many Americans worked on the Australian goldfields.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Yesterday I received an email about a word that I love - sitzfleisch. The email came from "A Word A Day", and defines this word as
1. The ability to sit through or tolerate something boring.
2. The ability to endure or persist in a task.
If I were talking about that second concept I would have thought of the old-fashioned sticktoitiveness - which probably isn't too old, actually.

And Word A Day also mentions the other synonym, chair glue, which I had never heard before:
Sitzfleisch is a fancy term for what's commonly known as chair glue: the ability to sit still and get through the task at hand. It's often the difference between, for example, an aspiring writer and a writer. Sometimes the word is used in the sense of the ability to sit out a problem -- ignore it long enough in the hope it will go away.
I love the latter meaning - it's great when procrastinating long enough means some problem has just solved itself.

But it's the first of the two definitions that is important to us bloggers. Keep on writing. Maybe someone will read it, lol.