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06 January 2010

The Difficulty with "Glittens" (Besides the Created "Word")

What is a glitten? Perhaps some of you already know. This is English (or American language) of which we are speaking, a living language that grows and develops, sometimes in directions way beyond what the village imagines it can or should. That's that adnascentia for you.

Of course, Latin is not as dead as reported. All one has to do is put a "us" at the end of a word and voila (can sometime teach me how to put French characters on a blog?) or rather, ta-dadus, you have Latin!

A glitten is a fingerless glove with a fold-over mitten-like cover for those four exposed fingers, so that it's all-in-one, hence, a glove-in-mitten or "glitten."

Not content with this interesting innovation to muscle out the fingerless glove cum mitten sales (why buy two pairs when you can buy one at 2.14x the price?), IT and fashion hipsters have decided that there can be improvements.

Scenario One: Fast-thinking, Andean mountain-climbing, global-ware buyer thought, we need the thumb exposed, too, so that we can better type text messages on handheld devices in the cold! Or, play video games on handheld devices in the cold! Or, wave through stored photos while the other fingers (exposed or unexposed) hold the handheld device! (Or, use the thumb for whatever Luddites use them for) So, he has these Peruvians knitting alpaca glittens with little slits in the thumbs so that the thumbs can slip out of their little cocoons and be useful. The thumb, not only isolated from the rest of the pack through the traditional construction of a mitten-turned-glitten, must now endure constant exposure to cold from which the other four fingers have protection, because this slit amounts to a hole in the glove/mitten/glitten through which not only can cold air slip in, but through which the thumb can inadvertently (often) slip out into the cold. It's hard to picture, I know, but trust me, that slit in the thumb is not as useful as the texting global-ware buyer had thought. Now, someone has to improve upon it and give the thumb a little mitten cap like the four fingers do. Oh, the travails of an opposable thumb.*

But, Andean brown, black and white geometric designs are so earthshoes. And, what's with those mitten caps flapping around messily, besides fingerless gloves being more hip than glittens?

So, Scenario Two: a hipper buyer (maybe from J.Crew) thought, I'll design it differently. I'll put cute little buttons on the back with loops at the end of the mitten cap, so that when you open these glittens and want to expose the four fingers, like a real fingerless glove, you don't have those mitten caps flapping around, but rather, elegantly buttoned down as if they were part of the design of the fingerless gloves. And, we'll sell them just like that, the mitten caps back, looped onto button, looking elegant and like the fingerless gloves they should be, so the customer thinks, yes, this is not only useful, it's hip and elegant-looking. And, no one would want to use them as a glittens against the cold, so truly elegant as they are, as well as being a cool conversational piece. That is precisely what they are, because they are not glittens if one cannot see how to unloop the offendingly flapping mitten cap from the back of the glove to cover those exposed fingers. And all the while, the opposing thumbs (in this model, not having the aforementioned slit to be able to help unbutton the glitten mitten caps) remain useless but warm. This is poetry.

(As a p.s., I have done a little research and the Andes color scheme seems to be overcome, but I haven't seen anything different on either the thumb slits or the button loops.)

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