Verbatim

Articles from Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring

A Glib Punner's Bright Scheme
Match the description with the name 1. Falstaff A. Undernourished lion 2. Mistress Quickly B. Frappe or malted milk 3. King Lear C. The clumsy Mr. Kazan 4. Goneril ...
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As the Word Turns: Another Grose-Out
"With the genitalia the exigencies of taboo mean that slang has the cover-up role of euphemism to perform"--John Atyo, The Oxford Dictionary of Rhyming Slang (2002). Having inventoried (XXVII/2) male and female organs in Grose's Classical Dictionary...
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Bibliographia
Dewdroppers, Waldos and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the Twentieth Century, by Rosmarie Ostler. (Oxford University Press 2003. 239 pp. ISBN 0-19-516146-7, US$25.00) In the 1960s it was "hippie speak." In the...
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Classical Blather: Amongst Our Weaponry
Arma virumque cano: "Arms and the man I sing," begins Vergil's Aeneid, squarely in the middle of a literary tradition whose discourse of weapons goes back as far as writing itself. During the agrarian revolution after the last ice age, fertile river-bottom...
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Eighteenth Century Collections Online: The Words and Images of History
In 2001 I wrote in this journal: "Electronic resources presenting text and images through the World Wide Web are rapidly revolutionizing the study of history." Now, in 2004, the revolution has reached a mature phase. Perhaps the most exciting of the...
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Ex Cathedra
Those of you with sharp eyes for a finely carved letterform may have noticed that, with this issue, we have switched from our old staid face of New Caledonia to this elegant and (we think) more readable Bembo. Tony Kellers, of Studio Twelve3, developed...
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Fighting the Contras
"You know Doug," said a voice at the restaurant table next to mine last month. "He's area] opportunist." I leaned sideways ("That's rude," said my companion), hoping to hear how Doug bilked two gullible widows out of their pensions when the chance...
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Horribile Dictu
"It's very important that it's no longer something for the silent minority, and it's become normalised," said a think-tank wallah, greeting the news that half of all British households now have an Internet connection. "Silent majority" has long been...
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Inside the Academie
In the Paris of 1629, a group of fashionable young men met two or three times a week in the home of Valentin Conrart, aged twenty-six. They discussed what was going on in town, politics, and poetry. When Cardinal Richelieu, who employed a member of...
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Notes from a Cross and Down Competitor
By early Friday afternoon the lobby of the Stamford Marriott Hotel is beginning to fill up with a lively and motley crew of individuals--what someone has called a bunch of introverts getting together once a year to become extroverted and witty and...
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Revert, Pervert!
As I aimed our electromechanical, fuel-driven appliance southwesterly on 181 at my usual conservative eight miles over the posted speed limit, attempting to stay in some lane or other, my wife peered from her perch in the shotgun seat and suddenly...
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Simply Singlish
One of the delights of the English language is the ease with which it produces new words by promiscuously recycling parts of existing words from many sources. Thus, coffee shops have adopted the--ccino ending of cappuccino to describe drinks like muguccino,...
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Two Fingers Up to the French
It was the one and only time I saw a joke stop the show. The buildup was slow, the audience at Strasbourg's Le Barabli cabaret somewhat restive as a mock class of schoolchildren underwent a history lesson, learning by rote the manifold benefits of...
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