Thing used to go down a hill

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

Thing used to go down a hill

Post by Stevenloan » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:42 am

Hi there! What do you call the thing that the people in the following link sit on and go down the hill? (Picture 4,5 and 7).

https://baomoi.com/truot-cat-o-mui-ne-t ... 899039.epi

Thanks so much!

StevenLoan
Post actions:

Re: Thing used to go down a hill

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:47 am

When I rode on one of these during a visit to Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park a few years ago, the people around me called it a sand toboggan. You could also call it a sand sled or a sand board (though I think the last of these terms might puzzle people who've never heard of this mode of transport).

Incidentally, the sand gets EVERYWHERE, if you get my drift.
Post actions:

Re: Thing used to go down a hill

Post by tony h » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:03 am

Ho ho Erik.

It seems to me that toboggan or sled should be perfectly acceptable. It would only be necessary to include "sand" when circumstances made it necessary to differentiate with snow (or other media).
Post actions:
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: Thing used to go down a hill

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:10 pm

tony h wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:03 am
It would only be necessary to include "sand" when circumstances made it necessary to differentiate with snow (or other media).
The question of 'when circumstances [make] it necessary' can be pretty subjective.

Say you're picnicking somewhere in the Chiltern hills. Far away In the valley below is a field containing what looks like a thoroughbred horse. There are no other animals in sight. You want to see it in more detail, so you train your handy binoculars on the creature.

How would you point it out to the companion on the blanket next to you?

1) I can see something.
2) I can see something in that field.
3) There's an animal in that field.
4) There's a horse in that field.
5) There's a racehorse in that field.

All these are accurate options, but they are not equally informative. (There's also no possibility of confusing that horse with any other, because there's only one animal of any description to be seen.) Is it necessary, then, to mention that it's a racehorse?

I don't know how you would answer, but the fact that it would be quite sufficient when pointing it out to say "I can see something" wouldn't necessarily discourage me from going into more detail, even to the extent of specifying the type of horse.

That decision might depend on such things as how confident I was in my identification, my companion's perceived level of interest in horses (whether in general or at that moment in particular), how well I knew they could see the horse without binoculars, or how observant they were — would they spot it anyway? — and whether I had some desire to start a conversation involving horses. If I didn't want to do that, I might not even mention the animal at all.
Post actions:

Re: Thing used to go down a hill

Post by trolley » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:20 pm

When I was a kid, we had very specific names to describe the different style of sliders. This was a toboggan…https://goo.gl/GE8uet The best ones were made of wood and we kept them polished with wood-floor wax. The cheaper ones were aluminum. This was a sled…https://goo.gl/dXgAAN and this was a sleigh…https://goo.gl/CGu9Dz. A sleigh always had runners, a sled sometimes had runners and a toboggan never had runners. The flexible plastic sliders in those pictures were fairly new, at that time, and were called “crazy carpets”. Krazy Karpet was actually a brand name but it became a genericized term. They were the poor-man’s sliders…one step above an old plastic bag.
Post actions:

Re: Thing used to go down a hill

Post by Stevenloan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:13 pm

Thank you guys so much for your answers. They are very useful.
Post actions:

End of topic.
Post Reply