Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
late 13c., "round wooden tub," perhaps from Middle Dutch kitte "jug, tankard, wooden container," of unknown origin. Meaning "collection of personal effects," especially for traveling (originally in reference to a soldier), is from 1785; that of "outfit of tools for a workman" is from 1851. Of drum sets, by 1929. Meaning "article to be assembled by the buyer" is from 1930s.
"small fiddle used by dancing teachers," 1510s, probably a shortening of Old English cythere, from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara (see guitar).
American marine biologist and writer whose best-known book, Silent Spring (1962), was an influential study of the dangerous effects of synthetic pesticides on food chains. Public reaction to the book resulted in stricter controls on pesticide use and shaped the ideas of the modern environmental movement.
(Usenet, possibly from DEC) Slang for a full software distribution, as opposed to a patch or upgrade. A source software distribution that has been packaged in such a way that it can (theoretically) be unpacked and installed according to a series of steps using only standard Unix tools, and entirely documented by some reasonable chain of references from the top-level README file. The more general term distribution may imply that special tools or more stringent conditions on the host environment are required.
small fiddle with a muted tone, carried by dancing masters in their pockets in the 16th-18th century. A last descendant of the medieval rebec, the kit evolved as a narrow, boat-shaped instrument with usually three or four strings. Later, narrow, violin-shaped kits were also built. Dancing masters used it to play the dance melody and rhythm while teaching the steps.