Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lead Paint, and Lead vs. Led

When Jack and Margaret were little, I did a lot of furniture refinishing. That's how some of you found me here on the blog. Because I like weathered, chippy furniture, I was particularly careful about lead paint and had all of my antiques tested by a professional.

Years later, I found a treasure, "The Dumpster Dive,"  an enormous green cabinet sitting by the side of the road. When I found it, the kids were way past the paint-licking stage, but I didn't want to take any chances, so I left it outside under the carport for years rather than bringing it inside.

When we moved into this house 3 years ago, I knew I had the perfect place for it in our family room, and because Margaret was a teen by that time, I didn't see a risk of having it inside. It looks terrific!

A few days ago, however, I was playing on the floor with Andrew, when I looked up and realized The Dumpster Dive could very well have lead paint on it. A quick test I ordered on-line confirmed that it does. I can either try to seal it with some kind of poly coating, or get rid of it. I feel like such a dummy for not even thinking about it until now, and I really hope Andrew hasn't suffered any ill effects from it! I'm just sitting here staring at it today, because it's huge and whatever I decide to do will have to be done with Tim's help when he gets home. Gah.

****
All of this LEAD talk made me think of something else entirely.

Many people mix up the words LEAD and LED.

I see a lot of great writing every day, and this seems to be a common error, even in published books. I'm not judging-- I recently put the word asses in a blog post when I meant assess! So, what have I noticed? I commonly see phrases like, "I felt lead to write this article." This is incorrect. The person is not talking about a metal. It should be, "I felt led to write this article."

SO, how does one remember the difference? I don't know.

LEAD (as in lead paint, a bucket of lead) and LED (as in I led the dog down the hill yesterday, I felt led to share this with you) sound exactly the same.

LED is past-tense.

Of what?

The word LEAD (rhymes with seed)

LEAD (verb, what a LEADER does) sounds different. "I hope he or she will lead our nation with grace and dignity."

Not sure why I'm riffing on this today, but if it helps anyone catch it in his/her writing, that would be great.

Now if we could only eradicate: "Thank you for the support you have shown Kevin and I," and, "Please give it to Kevin or myself."

23 comments:

Noames said...

FWIW, I don't know what's standard in your state, but both my kids had their blood tested for lead levels (first time when they were maybe 9 months? then again at 2?) as part of the routine well care stuff, so maybe there was nothing to worry about and your doctor just didn't mention it? Or if he wasn't tested and you are particularly worried, you could request a simple blood test to see if there are elevated levels. But I'm going to guess that one piece of furniture is unlikely to cause a major problem, unless there are a lot of flakes that he was eating.

AmyK said...

I can't help but love someone who knows that "myself" is a reflexive pronoun! I can give myself a gift, but you can't give myself a gift...

Sharon in Indy said...

Thank you!! So many of these make me nuts, especially from the professional media, whose editors seem to have gotten sloppy. Another is "loose" and "lose."

Using "I" instead of "me" because someone thinks it somehow sounds more educated? No. Plus, that has the simplest rule in the world: what would you say if it were only you? "Mom gave the cookies to I?" "Me took the cookies when Mom wasn't looking?" Wasn't my intent to go Sesame Street there, but that furry blue guy ALWAYS made me cringe when he talked that way.

Tina said...

My grammar pet peeve is people confusing "then" and "than". I see it so often, its frustrating. I always explain it to others like this.... would you rather cross the street safely THAN get hit by a bus or cross the street safely THEN get hit by a bus. Makes a world of difference! :)

owlfan said...

When my kids were born and until the older one was 3, we lived in an old house - built in 1925, so clearly it had lead paint. We never had it tested, because then we would legally have to disclose it, but we just assumed lead paint underneath other layers. Our pediatrician assured us that as long as the paint was in good shape and not flaking, we were fine. She also tested blood lead level at 2 or 3 and our son was just fine. So unless Andrew really gets into the habit of chewing on furniture, I think you would be fine. Or put another layer of regular paint on top. Just don't try to sand off the old paint - that's where you end up with lots of lead dust.

Gigi said...

It couldn't hurt to have Andrew tested; it could put your mind at ease.

And for the grammar/usage lesson...THANK YOU! Now, could you do one on the difference between loose and lose? I see that one EVERYWHERE and it makes me crazy.

Anonymous said...

That is a really gorgeous piece. I used to worry a lot about lead poisoning (I even have a book called "Lead is a Silent Hazard"). As you probably know, lead dust getting on hands and into mouths rather than eating chips (which would be really bad, but unusual) is the usual culprit. Much of the lead dust in homes comes from the grinding of paint on windows as they are opened and closed. I would guess the opening and closing of those doors would do the same, so would avoid that until Andrew is much older until you decide what to do. If it actually drops chips or leaves paint dust on your hands when you touch it, I would want it gone ASAP. If not, maybe you could isolate it in an unused space until then and just not open the doors. Lead paint that old will have a lot more lead than never lead paint -- the percentages were much higher before about 1950 and then it was banned in 1978.

NanaDiana said...

My father was very particular about our word usage and it still amazes me how many times people use words incorrectly. I was trying to watch a tutorial (video) earlier today and the girl kept saying the world MUSLIM instead of MUSLIN (fabric). lol I finally gave up.

I am sure baby boy is okay and has not ingested any lead at this point. Good catch, Mom. I know you will figure something out. xo Diana

Anonymous said...

I picked up a copy of a grammar book at our library sale entitled: "Woe is I." Love it and everybody should read it!

That mistake drives me crazy too. Even my English major son will occasionally say something along the lines of: "That was fun for Lucy and I." Unfortunately, I read recently that this mistake has become so widespread (both spoken and written) that it will probably be "approved" by the grammar books before too long. AAGGHH! I agree with another commenter that apparently people think it sounds more educated to say "I" than "me." Go figure.

As for "me" and "myself," I actually think you should use "me" rather than "myself" in your Kevin example. Difficult to explain but just google "when to use me and when to use myself."

Another pet peeve is that people don't seem to know when to use "few" and when to use "less." Newspapers and magazines make this mistake all the time. I have just learned to mentally substitute the correct word when I see those words used incorrectly. Actually, you rarely see "few" as most people just use "less" across the board.

Other blog mistakes you see all the time: aisle v. isle; peak v. peek; bare v. bear. Too many to count! But thanks for the grammar lesson today.

Cassie Larson said...

I never see "lead" used for "led", probably because I'm too busy seeing "loose" used for "lose". UGHHHHHHHHHHHH. It's everywhere, like Gigi said.

KimL said...

Miss Mustard Seed sells a product called Tough Coat that seals the exterior of chippy paint. I have never used it but I am sure that she would be more than happy to advise you.

http://missmustardseedsmilkpaint.com/tough-coat/

Anonymous said...

I always thought it was "Give it to Kevin or me" also... because otherwise it would be correct to say "Give it to me" but not "give it to myself" (though that may be a direct quote from my two year old who does everything MYSELF!). My other peeve I see online is it's for possessive its. It's hard to catch and autocorrect screws it up a lot, but proofreading is important!

Suburban Correspondent said...

If it isn't flaking off onto the carpet and you haven't been sanding it in the house, the baby probably hasn't come in contact with any lead yet. You could always move it back out into the garage until he passes the furniture-licking stage.

Britt Terry said...

I think Pediatricians need to be proactive in educating parents about lead paint. My original Pediatrician never mentioned anything about lead nor routine testing. I wasn't too fond of her and transferred my son to a new doctor by 12 months.

Anne B said...

I always say "Give it to Kevin or me" and people look at me funny because it is so commonly said and written incorrectly! It drives me bonkers. My professional co-workers do it all the time too. My husband watches car shows on TV and their grammar is atrocious. I cringe every time he has the TV on and the kids are around. "Me and my buddies..." I correct the TV all the time so my kids know that it isn't okay. It drives my husband bonkers that I'm correcting the TV. Reality TV is rotting our brains.

Kim said...

I agree paint in Miss Mustard Seeds clear coat that will seal it.

Denise said...

It made me chuckle that some people only commented on the lead paint, while others were only drawn to the grammar aspect of your post. Please don't get rid of your dumpster dive find. It's awesome.

Wrong post -- but your Stitch Fix win from the other day prompted me to give it one more try after a disastrous fail. Wish me luck...it arrives next Friday.

Anonymous said...

What makes me crazy is when someone says "Supposably" in place of Supposedly. If I had a nickel for every time I hear that one...

One crazed mommy said...

Another one that drives me crazy is first and foremost...um - you're basically repeating yourself, since they mean the same thing. You hear it all the time in speeches, though, and it is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I heard Obama say it once in a speech, and was cringing thinking even the president got it wrong! Noooo! My husband is guilty of saying supposably...it drives me insane. He also can't say actually right (it must be the double ll's that cause him to lisp) and it comes out actuwhee...it makes me laugh, though, because I know it's not grammatically correct, but he can't help it - it's cute. LOL!

Anonymous said...

The one that makes me cringe the most is, "that peaked my interest" instead of "piqued my interest".

-Anu

Lauren said...

I can't get into my grammar neuroses because I'd leave a short novel in this comment, but if you decide you don't want to keep The Dumpster Dive, I might be able to convince the boyfriend we need it! (We're out by Leesburg so not too far away.)

Lauren said...

I won't go on about my grammar neuroses because I'd leave a short novel in this comment section, but if you decide you don't want to keep The Dumpster Dive, I have a boyfriend I think I can convince that we need it! (We're in Leesburg so not too far away.)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Anna,

I hope this comment will not make you angry. I'm only mentioning your mistake in grammar because you have introduced the topic! :) You split infinitives often and I thought it might be helpful to tell you as it seems that you are interested in proper grammar. For example, you might write, "I tried to quickly move the car." The correct way to write that sentence is any variation that does not put any word between "to" and "move". (I quickly tried to move the car.) If you see any grammatical errors in my comment, please let me know! :) I love that you mentioned the improper use of the subjective and the objective! Lots of love to you as your precious family grows and thrives. I've been praying for you since I found your blog! P.S. I know I probably seem obnoxious by pointing out the infinitive error! There's no need to publish my comment! I just wanted to let you know!