If I'm going to start a project and it's going to revolve around the scarf, I had better lay down the rules, eh?
1. a broad strip of wool, silk, lace, or other material worn about the neck, shoulders, or head, for ornament or protection against cold, drafts, etc. ; muffler.
2. a necktie or cravat with hanging ends.
3. a long cover or ornamental cloth for a bureau, table, etc.
I feel that there's a lot of wiggle room in this definition. First off, I'm going to scratch definition number three. It's not that I don't think it's a valid definition; it's just that I don't particularly enjoy making those sorts of things.
Next I feel that the first and second entry somewhat contradict each other. I have never seen a "broad" necktie. Maybe they exist, but I just can't picture it and still imagine it looking nice.
Also, in my world a thing that is meant to be around your shoulders is a cape or a shawl. You can certainly wear a shawl scarf-style, but that doesn't turn it into a scarf. Some shawls are very slight and can cross the line, but in general if they are as wide as they are long, that's just not a scarf to me.
I seem to think that if something is ornamental that it needn't be defined by it's size. In my mind a scarf can be broad, sure, but it could be slender. After all, isn't the phrase "skinny scarf" in common use?
So for the purposes of my 2011 project, let's see what we have left.
A scarf is a strip of material worn around the neck and/or head for ornament or protection from cold. A scarf can be broad or slender. A scarf can have hanging ends or be secure. Yes, in my world a cowl is a scarf and a tight collar is also a scarf as long as it covers the neck.
Tomorrow I'll search out a bunch of pictures of scarves and not scarves so we'll all be in the know.