The insanely useful little plastic bits at the ends of shoelaces are not, in fact, called "plastic bits" or "end thingies". The appropriate term is "aglets". These clever contraptions help keep the threads woven into the lace together in a structured way, preventing their falling apart which could have disastrous results. Actually, what does happen when the aglets are removed is that the threads unwind on the ends, making it tricky to fit them through the holes properly. The proper name for the holes is "eyelets", by the way.

The reason for this node is a debate I had with a RL friend the other day... he insisted that they should simply be called "those little things at the end of shoelaces", however I was certain that I'd heard a technical term somewhere in the past. Special thanks to zot-fot-piq for enlightening me via the catbox.

And yes, this debate is probably a good indication of the standard quality of our conversations. *grumble*

As Nenneth said, when you loose the aglets of your shoelaces, it becomes very difficult to weave them through the eyelets. Here's what I do when that happenes:

I usually use a lighter to burn the open, untwisted ends of the laces, and pinch-roll them into tight little 'sausages' with wet index finger and thumb.

Yes, this even works with cotton laces. They usually contain a small ammount of synthetics..... and even if not, the charred cotton gives it quite a good hold so you can get the lace through those holes again. :)

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