Yesterday I found myself wondering about the many permutations of the word “scale”. Why this particular word, I have no idea, it just popped into my consciousness. Anyway, I began to consider its manifold meanings and uses, and have decided it is one of the more used, if not useful, words in the English language. Scale is a word used when we climb a cliff, or a high peak, or even a building. Yet this same word means the calcified skin cells on a fish, a snake or a lizard; as well as those pesky mineral deposits on faucets and tubs. It is also used in reference to measurement, as an engineers scale (which may use either English or Metric measures) or of weight. We weigh justice in the balance scale, and of course “step on the scale” to weigh ourselves. Metaphorically, “scales on our eyes” keep us from seeing situations clearly. Ultimately, I’m simply amazed by the wonder of the word, which like so many in English, both enlightens and confuses, depending on your point of view, on a scale of 1 to 10.
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