Thursday, September 18, 2008

Warp and Woof

At the moment (well, not literally at the moment, but more like 2 minutes ago, before I decided to needed to take a short break and blog about it) I'm reading a chapter on contextualization in The Changing Face of World Missions. At the end of a paragraph I came across the phrase "warp and woof," as in:

[Contextualization] cannot be limited to propositional truths. It must be carried into the very warp and woof of church life and practice.
I've never heard this phrase before, and it struck me as odd and rather funny. I could figure it's meaning by the context, but being the word nerd that I am, had to look it up online to confirm my guess at its meaning and ascertain whether or not this is a legitmate phrase that people (well, at least some people) actually use.

So, I looked it up in both and Merriam-Webster Online, and indeed, it's a bona fide phrase dating back to 1842, and it refers to the underlying structure on which something is built; a base or foundation. Huh.

So, my readers, a question and a challenge:
Question: Have you ever come across this phrase before?
Challenge: Leave a comment and use it in a sentence.

P.S. It also struck me as funny that when I looked it up on Merrian-Webster Online, this ad showed up in the right hand sidebar. I had to wonder whether this ad randomly appeared, or whether I'd been selected to view it because I'd looked up "warp and WOOF." Either way, that's funny. Well, at least to me.


Sheryl said...

Yes, I've heard it before. I always associate it with the base threads of a loom. Writing is part of the warp and woof of your being. :)

Anonymous said...

I have never heard this phrase before.

The warp and woof of my house is askew.

wren said...

Never, ever heard this phrase before. And had I encountered it, I would never, ever have said, "the warp and woof of church life and practice." It is cracking me up--more than the puppies.

I solemnly vow to use "warp and woof of church life and practice" in my writing sometime soon.