Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To the End of Seagull Management

I have decided to continue, or mostly continue (although it feels a lot like that guy on the radio yesterday, the writer for The Colbert Rapport, who tried to go for an entire day without Googling and only made it 13 hours), my hiatus from the rancid world of American Politics, for at least the next 8 weeks, until the day you all VOTE FOR ME. I turn on the computer and want to puke in my steaming cup of morning coffee. If it weren't for Ken Rudin, Political Junkie, on Talk of the Nation Wednesdays, I would probably completely bow out until November 4, and even sometime after that. But since he is a complete geek, and probably my lost soul-brother, I will stick with the program.

In the meantime, I scored several fine books at really low prices recently, which arrived in the mail yesterday, one of which is a little paperback number called Word Watching: Field Notes of an Amateur Philologist. I much more enjoyed reading about mutated and extinct words this morning than about how Obama is going to pump how much money into "responsible" charter schools and federal enforcement of state and local accountability within the walls of these establishments. So, I will share with you some gems our author has to offer:

" Most of the words that perish disappear, leaving no trace except in the dictionaries. Some others leave a reminder of their former existence, in a variant modified by a prefix or a suffix. Gruesome, noisome, and cumbersome are all in daily use. Oddly enough, grue, noy, and cumber all existed once but have fallen from use. To grue is to feel terror or horror, to shudder, tremble or quake. (Blogger note: as one might in the presence of a hundred pound terrifying rrrrat!) To cumber is to overwhelm or rout; also to harrass, distress, or trouble. To noy is to trouble, vex, or harrass; it is an aphetic form of annoy." (Burnside pp. 39-40)

As in, the media continues to noy and cumber me; I grue when I sit down at the table and go online lately.

Crap, I was having fun, but it's time to get in the shower and go to work. So, one last reference:

"P.G. Wodehouse used gruntled as a humorous opposite of disgruntled. Gruntle came first. It means to utter little grunts. As a noun, it is the contented grunting sound made by a happy pig; it is also a pig's snout. A pig whose nose is actually or metaphorically out of joint is aptly described as disgruntled." (Burnside p. 40)

What would metaphorically disalign a pig's snout is beyond me.

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