Cement is a constituent of concrete, which also contains sand, gravel and crushed rock

“Cement is a constituent of concrete, which also contains sand, gravel and crushed rock” – Troublesome Words by Bill Bryson

9 thoughts on “Cement is a constituent of concrete, which also contains sand, gravel and crushed rock

  1. But what’s between these stones is likely not cement, but mortar. Concrete is too hard, and rigid for stone. But then there is nothing wrong with your photo. It’s just wonderful.

    1. Artistic lisence :-D
      I really wondered if someone might realise the difference. I also wondered why Bill Bryson felt the need to explain the difference. Seems the anglophones have some problem with the distinction ;-)
      Let’s say, since we are in Southern France, it’s opus caementitium.
      Thank you!

      1. Your artistic license gives you great freedom. I suspect that the only people who split hairs with this fine distinction between cement and mortar are those in the building trades. This photo does deserve a print, mat, and frame.

        1. Thanks again! I don’t like the word “mortar”, btw, I wonder how the two totally different meanings are explained. Let’s see …

          mortar (n.1)
          “mixture of cement,” late 13c., from O.Fr. mortier “builder’s mortar, plaster; bowl for mixing” (13c.), from L. mortarium “mortar,” also “crushed drugs,” probably the same word as mortarium “bowl for mixing or pounding” (see mortar (n.2)). Dutch mortel, Ger. Mörtel are from Latin or French.

          mortar (n.3)
          “short cannon,” 1550s, originally mortar-piece, from M.Fr. mortier “short cannon,” in Old French, “bowl for mixing or pounding” (see mortar (n.2)). So called for its shape..

          1. “Mortar” has a number of means which you list, but that isn’t the stuff between bricks or stones. Many meanings are a reference to a mortar and pestle used to grind items into powder. Mortar as used by masons is often a mixture of 1 part cement, 1 part lime (limestone raised to a high temperature and then ground into a powder, not the fruit of the lime tree) and 6 parts sand. Mix this with enough water to make a paste and place between stones or bricks. It works well to stick blocks together, resists moisture, and adds stiffness without being brittle.

          2. Now you have clearly outed yourself as someone in the building trade ;-)

            In German the meanings divided into different words: Mörser (the cannon) and Mörtel (the .. mortar ;-)).

          3. I’m a retired university professor. Never in the building trades as a career, but when home I do work two days a week helping to build Habitat houses. Watch out for guys with a little bit of knowledge. Thanks for the German lesson.

    1. Ya. That’s what I thought. Exaclty. Japanese Flag and pagoda! Ha!
      I even might forgive you your “Winter in Florida” post …

      Thanks. I like the photo very much, too. Might be worth a print and a mat and a frame. Let’s see.

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