steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Miscellaneous Morning Stuff

The World Cup beckons, and with it merchandise bearing the slogan "Come On England!" has become once more ubiquitous. I'd somehow repressed the memory during the previous four years, but now the pain of that missing comma flares up like an old shrapnel wound, or perhaps a poisoned Madeleine. It's not mere pedantry: I simply can't read that slogan without seeing it as an exhortation to a bizarre act of patriotic onanism. Which, metaphorically, perhaps it is.

This morning's chance discovery... My daughter asked me who first used the word 'gravity' in a physical sense, and in chasing the word through the warrens of the OED I found that it was once believed to coexist with an opposite force called 'levity', that caused light things to rise. I'm quite prepared to believe that everyone else knew this already, but I thought it was pretty cool.

I see that Geoffrey Chaucer has been blogging again, with a rather touching Mother's Day poem by Grendel:

....Whanne Ic waxed had VI yeeres and wanted a partye,
You hyred the huge serpents who hover yn the lake –
With their grim jaws thei gave flight to the guests
(Foolish Dane childer who, cake-lured, dyede):
With wynsome joye Ic watched that riot of razor-teeth.
No partye for a prince koud boaste swich a pettinge zoo,
Or swich fearsome pinatas that in candyes place heeld payne!...

(Other highlights include the alliterative awards ceremony, the Aesgars, featuring categories for "Moost Synonyms For Warrior Used in Oon Fitt," "Longest Huntinge Scene," and "Best Use of Traditionally Polytheistic Themes in a Christian Setting.")

And so to a day of marking dissertations.
Tags: language, links
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