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3 Comments

  • Excellent post, Orin. I like your advice to learners that they consult their own “linguistic genius”!
    Fire watch made me think of neighbourhood watch, which is comparable in a way, but different in that the watch is a collective watching over something already there; or watching out for it in the sense “keeping an eye on it” rather than “waiting on alert for it”.

  • Thanks for your comment, Stan. I would have guessed the collective meaning of “fire watch” myself if the poster had not glossed it so specifically. I suppose it could be a rotating duty, in which people took turns being the watchperson, but I like the idea that it might hark bark to an older meaning.