This place matters

This place matters

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Albatross etymology not included

Some days, I can't think of a thing to write about, and I can't imagine why I started this bloody blog in the first place. Someone once told me that they wished they could do a Vulcan mind meld with me and glean from me all the random crap I knew about the English language and I thought "Well yes, I do know rather a lot about the English language. This could be the subject of that blog I've been meaning to start." The random crap I knew lasted a good ten posts, I'm afraid. I do run across facts I had no idea I knew rather frequently when writing, but in general, I have to actually do research to make blog posts these days. Of all the nonsense.


Really, I'm only posting this link because the headline made me
guffaw out loud. I wasn't able to find Spock mind-melding with
a humpback whale, which is too bad because it's among the funniest
moments in geek movie history.

So anyway, some days I can't think of a thing to write about. Other days I fall down a lexicographical rabbit hole so deep that picking a single thing about which to blog is absurd. Like today, while picking over the corpse of the local Borders, I found Where a Dobdob Meets a Dikdik by Bill Casselman who is, from the few pages I've read, a big fat snooty snob who thinks his ability to use and or memorize a thesaurus makes him better than everybody else. And I'd like to rant about that.


I assume that life at Bill Casselman's house is a bit like this

In the introduction to his book, he demands to know whether we should "take our clue about how we speak English from sullen, letterless thugs out on a day pass." I must be one of said sullen letterless thugs, because I have no clue what he's even talking about. He also decries the vocabularies "upwardly mobile rap record producer with the IQ of a beach pebble and the arsenal of Iraq." From this, I can only assume he's listened to about four rap artists ever. Most of the good ones can do things with words that word nerds like me can only dream of.


I'm not saying the words all make sense when strung together,
but I'm pretty sure Emily Dickinson would be tempted to hang
up her rhyming shoes upon hearing this. Either that or smugly assert
that this load of crap could never be sung to the tune of
Gilligan's Island



But wait! Read a little further and you'll find an etymology for albatross that will blow you away and lead you down a rabbit hole that drops you off at Alice the Goon. But by then you'll find you've spent so much time rambling aimlessly and posting random YouTube videos that you're linguistically exhausted and haven't the time or the inclination to share what you've learned, and so instead, you promise to albatross another day, and leave this as a consolation prize. 



1 comment:

xoggoth said...

If I run out of ideas I invent some remedy like giving up coffee or not seeing relatives. Always works for a short while.

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