So I’m at work, proofreading, reading, reading … and the proofreading comes to a screeching halt with a loud bang on impact with the word “tranche.” Huh? The Little Girl proofreading alongside me says, “Tranche?” We share another huh? I dunno moment

We reread to make sure we read it correctly the first time. Reread to see if we can figure out what word was supposed to be in there in place of this obvious typo. Reread yet again because we just can’t believe that we came upon a real word that neither of us absolutely had never heard of before.

The Little Girl continues to reread a larger swath of the column to try fitting it into context while I grab the dictionary. Tranche. It’s a word. Huh.

Tranche: “transh” — “bond series issued for sale in a foreign country,” according to my Webster’s which is about what the work dictionary had to say about it.

It’s not a funny word at all, really. That’s unfortunate. On the other hand, The Little Girl has vowed to use it in an article this week. That’s good clean nerd-fun right there. I’ll disclose a full report if she’s successful.

Then, when I got home, I started scouring the Internet for column fodder, and while reading about some Polish scientists finding three Neanderthal teeth — bam! — I was hit with this tidbit of also-new-to-me information: woolly rhinoceros.

[Note: The following information must be read with a Steve Irwin accent, solely because it amused me to hear the words that way when I wrote them.]

Once upon an eon, fearsome bands of woolly rhinoceri roamed Europe and Asia. These massive-snouted creatures boldly shoved aside the Ice Age snows with their thick snout horns to terrorize grasses, brush and lichens. It was an idyllic life for a thick-coated herbivore.

But the woolly rhinoceri’s tale is a tale of woe, and the very Ice Age, which they shoved aside with such callous disregard, was in fact the facilitator of their lifestyle. When the Ice Age melted away, the woolly rhinoceri went with it. The humanoids and other creatures of the world trudged on through evolution without their woolly friends and lost them from all memory.

The earth alone has preserved the story of the woolly rhinoceros in the rare cave painting and the occasional fossilized remnant. And, too, some essence of their mightiness resonates in the modern rhinoceri roaming hairless in the semi-arid regions of modern Africa and Asia — and, of course, inspiring that tough-ass truck and trailer lining which will, undoubtedly, outlast us all.

Thus the woolly tale ends [and you may resume your regularly scheduled accent].

Summer abides in my current header photo at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40(dot)com

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