John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

  • Mood:

Happy Birthday to mortonfox and tye_g_wolfee!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

Strange things, wonders, Ferlies (or fairlies) is in common use in Scotland for "sights, show things to be seen." ... [From] Middle English ferly, strange, wonderful; Old English færlic, sudden, unexpected.
--Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914

Birthday of Samuel Johnson (1709-1784),
English lexicographer, critic, and poet, whose diverse remarks were preserved for posterity by his friend and protégé James Boswell in The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). One such comment, uttered in December 1779, concerned one of Ireland's most amazing natural wonder, the remote coastal outcropping of cuboid rocks in county Antrim known as Giant's Causeway. When asked how interesting this place might be to a tourist, Dr. Johnson made this distinction: "Worth seeing? Yes, but not worth going to see." An example of Johnson's profoundly subtle influence on future generations of writers may be noticed in such modern guidebooks as the prestigious Michelin series, begun by Edouard Michelin about a century after Johnson's statement. The guides still embrace Johnson's concept on the subject, rating destinations with such terminology as "interesting" and "worth a detour," as well as those they classify as "worth a journey."

-The Gneech
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

  • 1 comment