Laundry List



Laundry list. We've all heard the term. It means a long list of stuff, often random items. For example, "a laundry list of complaints", "a laundry list of desires", "a laundry list of problems". OK, I understand that but why is it a "laundry" list? When I do a laundry I don't need a list. I lug my dirty clothes to the washer, put the clothes in, add some laundry detergent and maybe some fabric softener, push a few buttons and wash my clothes in the washing machine. When the clothes are done I take them out of the washer and put them in the dryer. When the dryer has finished drying the clothes I take them out, sort them, fold them and put them away. I hardly need to make a list to do my laundry. And, if I have to take some clothes to the dry cleaner, I just take them, I don't need to make a list to do it. And the dry cleaner gives me a receipt.

Why do we need a "laundry list"? Why do we still use the term? How did the term "laundry list" get into our vocabulary and why does it stay there?

Other "lists" might make sense. Yes, a "shopping" list makes sense. When I go food shopping and need more than 2 items I write them all down on a yellow sticky Post It. That way, I don't forget to buy something I need when I go to the supermarket. A shopping list makes sense, a laundry list does not.

It's time to dump the term "laundry list". Dumping it is on my To Do List, my Wish List and my Bucket List, not my laundry list.






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