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

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Happy Belated Birthday to dduane!

For your present, here's the past weekend's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):


Rudeness of manners, barbariousness. Gothicize, to bring back to gothicism.
—Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon, c. 1850

Armed Forces Day [the 17th]

Feast Day of St. Theodotus,

a patron of innkeepers. The anonymous publication Decorum (1877), which described aspects of Victorian etiquette, offered this tip on refreshing oneself in mixed company: "If you are walking with a woman in the country, ascending a mountain or strolling by the bank of a river, and your companion, being fatigued, should choose to sit upon the ground, on no account allow yourself to do the same but remain rigorously standing. To do otherwise would be flagrantly indecorous, and she would probably resent it as the greatest insult." About this time, verbal insults also differed from those used today. Marie Hayden's Terms of Disparagement in American Dialectic Speech (c. 1917) included examples from the animal kingdom such as lobster, "applied to one who is awkward and unsociable," clam, "a sneaking fellow," moth, "a prostitute," sardine for a simpleton, tadpole to indicate a person's insignificance, and porpoise to describe an overweight person.

Good ol' Victorian arbitrariness!

-The Gneech
Tags: birthday, forgotten english
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