Stuff Today - Issue 6389

Tuesday 23 January 2018

National Handwriting Day (US) - visit: www.wima.org/NationalHandwritingDay/tabid/79/Default.aspx

Today's Rock type: Sedimentary

The Deeper Meaning Of Liff


The ingredient in coffee creamer that rises to the surface as scum.

The Devil's Dictionary


A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered "as one having authority," whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statue. Let the dictionary (for example) mark a good word as "obsolete" or "obsolescent" and few men thereafter venture to use it, whatever their need of it and however desirable its restoration to favor -- whereby the process of improverishment is accelerated and speech decays. On the contrary, recognizing the truth that language must grow by innovation if it grow at all, makes new words and uses the old in an unfamiliar sense, has no following and is tartly reminded that "it isn't in the dictionary" -- although down to the time of the first lexicographer (Heaven forgive him!) no author ever had used a word that was in the dictionary. In the golden prime and high noon of English speech; when from the lips of the great Elizabethans fell words that made their own meaning and carried it in their very sound; when a Shakespeare and a Bacon were possible, and the language now rapidly perishing at one end and slowly renewed at the other was in vigorous growth and hardy preservation -- sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion -- the lexicographer was a person unknown, the dictionary a creation which his Creator had not created him to create.

God said: "Let Spirit perish into Form,"
And lexicographers arose, a swarm!
Thought fled and left her clothing, which they took,
And catalogued each garment in a book.
Now, from her leafy covert when she cries:
"Give me my clothes and I'll return," they rise
And scan the list, and say without compassion:
"Excuse us -- they are mostly out of fashion."
Sigismund Smith

Roger's Profanisaurus


Medieval term for a cocoa shunter. 'Fear not the French, for their knights are without heart, and their King without wisdom. But keep thine backs as to the wall, for amongst their number thou shalt find more than a few lunchbox lancers, I can tell you.' (from 'Henry V part III' by William Shakespeare).

Astonishingly Uninteresting Fact

Border collies are the most intelligent breed of dog

Poem Of The Day

ArseEnders - Theme For An Imaginary Soap

You know we can't stand each other but we live in the same street
We whinge and whine and moan as if we've got nothing to eat
And none of us have got the sense to move right out of here
And so we'll wander down the pub because it's so damn near.

Maybe for a change I think I'll pop into the caff.
Or perhaps the corner shop might be good for a laugh
But no matter where you go you'll never find a friend
'Cos when the chips are down you know you live at life's arse end.

- Mike Stools (b. 1962)

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