----When I was young there was a piece of furniture in our house called “the apple”. It was a low wooden chest with a lid and legs that was often ignored because it mostly served as a support for an antique plate and photographs of the dog. Blankets were stored in it, so when we had a picnic or a power outage my mother or father would say “get the purple blanket from the apple”. This is how it was called. I suppose I assumed that ‘apple’ was a reference to the name of the craftsman or the type of wood, or simply that this particular style of chest was called an apple in the same inexplicable way that the boxy computer on my father’s desk was.

I learned years later that my father had repeatedly and failingly insisted that my mother add the word “coffer” to her growing English-as-a-second-language vocabulary. She failed to see the merit of the word and named the piece of furniture “apple” -because it was easy to remember. Similarly, due to my mother’s propensity for logical signifiers, our house had a ballroom; not because my parents liked to throw lavish parties, but because it was the only room in the house in which it was allowed to play with a bouncing ball.--- 


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