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At 08:33:30 on Fri, 9 Jul 2004, David (Email Removed) wrote in (Email Removed):
Counter to me is the surface area in a shop or place of exchange where money is counted (and goods exchanged).

Agreed. Alternatively, a serving counter (such as somebody previously referred to, between kitchen and diningroom).
Horizontal general purpose surfaces in the kitchen to me would be "top", "kitchen top" or (just possibly) "worktop".

To me, "worktop" refers to the material it is made from ("I've got a scratch on my worktop"). If it needs cleaning, its "surface" ("I must wipe down my surfaces"). Otherwise, it's the "side" ("You'll find the butter on the side").
But I guess that's just me.

Molly Mockford
I think I've been too long on my own, but the little green goblin that lives under the sink says I'm OK - and he's never wrong, so I must be! (My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)
David wrote, in part:
"Sonia laid the pen down on the counter, where it gleamed smugly in the rain-darkened room.

What's a rain-darkened room? Has it been flooded?

SML
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At 15:20:44 on Fri, 9 Jul 2004, Sara Lorimer
wrote in
:
What's a rain-darkened room? Has it been flooded?

I suppose it would make nasty dark patches on the wallpaper.
Molly Mockford
I think I've been too long on my own, but the little green goblin that lives under the sink says I'm OK - and he's never wrong, so I must be! (My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)
Frances Kemmish filted:

I just read a film review in the Guardian, which employs the term "counter-jumping". I suppose that wouldn't mean much to US readers?

No, but with a little context we might be able to puzzle it out...something to do with draughts, maybe?...r

Here's the context:
"This film astonished everyone, including me, by winning the Golden Palm at Cannes, and Michael Moore's dizzying, counter-jumping success has made populist dissent the stuff not merely of websites or print journalism but big Hollywood box office."
A "counter-jumper" is a contemptuous term for a shop-asistant. I thought it was a UK term, but I see that there was a 1922 Oliver Hardy movie callled "The Counter-Jumper".
Fran
Oh, surely not: I'd never think of you as having "side". :-)

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David wrote, in part:

"Sonia laid the pen down on the counter, where it gleamed smugly in the rain-darkened room.

What's a rain-darkened room? Has it been flooded?

Doubt it. Don't the light get dimmer when it rains in your part of the world?

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Frances Kemmish filted: No, but with a little context we might be able to puzzle it out...something to do with draughts, maybe?...r

Here's the context: "This film astonished everyone, including me, by winning the Golden Palm at Cannes, and Michael Moore's dizzying, ... thought it was a UK term, but I see that there was a 1922 Oliver Hardy movie callled "The Counter-Jumper".

That may be your take, but it wouldn't be mine. I've never heard of "counter-jumper", but it makes me think of a product so popular that it jumps over the counter. Beanie Babies, Pet Rocks, and Harry Potter books almost jumped over the (sales) counter. Considering the millions that F 9/11 has racked up, I see it as "jumping over the counter".
My take probably isn't right, and yours is, since the reference appeared in a UK publication. However, I'm stuck with it.
David wrote, in part: What's a rain-darkened room? Has it been flooded?

Doubt it. Don't the light get dimmer when it rains in your part of the world?

The Rising Damp darkens the walls.
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Horizontal general purpose surfaces in the kitchen to me would be "top", "kitchen top" or (just possibly) "worktop".

ISTR some builders of new homes referring to "island worktops" (even when they were really peninsulae, being attached somewhere to the rest of the worktops).
My wife keeps referring to my desk as my "table". Apart from the fact it has integral drawers, it might ... like many tables. What's in a name? Since money does get counted on my desk, why isn't it a counter?

There you have it, "On the Nail".

fix (vb.): 1. to paper over, obscure, hide from public view; 2. to work around, in a way that produces unintended consequences that are worse than the original problem. Usage: "Windows ME fixes many of the shortcomings of Windows 98 SE".
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