[Tagging] Drain vs ditch

Eugene Podshivalov yaugenka at gmail.com
Fri Jan 11 18:18:12 UTC 2019

Tod, what would be definition of "drain"?


пт, 11 янв. 2019 г. в 21:10, Tod Fitch <tod at fitchdesign.com>:

> > On Jan 11, 2019, at 8:36 AM, ael <law_ence.dev at ntlworld.com> wrote:
> >
> > As a native speaker, I do not recognise "canal" as appropriate for
> > irrigation. That is not to say that some canals may also be used
> > partly for irrigation.
> >
> > But the phrase "irrigation ditch" is common and understood.  Bear in
> > mind that the UK is mainly a fairly wet place, so the need for
> > substantial irrigation is not high except in some special cases.  The
> > unqualified word "ditch" would normally be understood as an artificial
> > unlined and usually small watercourse. But also, in certain contexts,
> > for a historic trench acting as a defense or fence, not necessarily
> > containing water.
> >
> > That seems to accord with a the sub tag irrigation=yes on ditches -
> > and maybe on other waterways if that is one of the uses/functions.
> >
> > ael
> >
> +1
> In the desert where I was raised the cotton fields were surrounded with
> “irrigation ditches”, or “ditches” for short. The fields were watered from
> the ditches by either syphon hoses or sluice gates.
> Later, when working on road projects, I found that the low areas on the
> sides of roads (often used as “side borrow” areas during construction of
> the roadway) were formally called “drainage ditches” or just “ditches” for
> short.
> So to me a ditch is simply a channel dug to move water.
> But I am an American and our terms diverge somewhat from UK usage. So I
> looked it up in my older paper version of the OED to find the first two
> definition are “1. An excavation narrow in proportion to its length; the
> trench or fosse of a fortification, etc.”. “2. Such a hollow dug out to
> receive or conduct water, esp. to carry off the surface drainage of a road
> or field, etc.”
> Based on the second, I can see the reason why some would conflate
> “drainage ditch” with simply “ditch”. But I don’t see from this where even
> in UK usage a ditch has to be for drainage. It is simply a long narrow
> excavation and, in the waterway sense, dug to conduct water from one place
> to another.
> Cheers!
> tf
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