Monday, February 1, 2010

As Always, "Caveat Lector"

In Monday's edition of The Writer's Almanack I read the following:

In 1989, a big Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published. It's the one you're most likely to find in a library today. Its 21,730 pages fill up 20 volumes, and it weighs nearly 140 pounds. There are more than 615,000 definitions for words in this edition, which also contains 2,436,600 quotations.

The longest entry in the 1989 edition is the word "set" in its verb form: There are more than 430 listed ways the verb "set" is used. The entry for the verb "set" is 60,000 words long, the equivalent of a modestly sized novel. The Bible is quoted more than any other work in the Oxford English Dictionary, and Shakespeare is quoted more than any other single author. Of Shakespeare's works, Hamlet is quoted the most. There are about 1,600 quotations from Hamlet alone in the OED.

I must look up its definition for "overkill".

Once again I read this phrase: "FUBAR means F**ked Up Beyond All Recognition".

So ridiculous. If one must clean up common language there is little sense in coding it so that the reader will understand that you are describing a term that means F-word Up Beyond All Recognition while pompously refraining from mouthing the actual "F-word."

If the word is too course, too vulgar, or so distasteful as to soil one's pristine lips (or pen or keyboard) then why not go all the way and replace that "F-word" with another "F-word" such as "fouled".

The delicate 'Pastor' or 'Preacher' or 'Reverend' could then define FUBAR as meaning, "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition."

We all know, for Christ's sake, that F**ked Up means Fucked Up.

One phrases I will never say or write is
"Suffice it to say that..."

There is neither an "up" nor a "down" to an object in free-fall.

If we can re-member the past. . .
can we then member the future?

My thoughts today are somewhat disjointed and incomplete. As if I had not sufficient sleep. It appears that this is not a day for writing a blog.

Hopefully, "this too shall pass."

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