December 9th, 2003


Well That Dream Was Pretty Good, Actually...

I was attending some kind of event that was put on by a film industry costuming association; their guest of honor was John Cleese. The M.C. introduced him and, instead of John Cleese, out came Whoopie Goldberg, dressed in a men's black suit and bowler, wearing a false moustache. Everyone laughed at that, but then started laughing harder when the real John Cleese came out dressed exactly the same way and looked at her like she was insane, at which point she slunk away looking embarrassed.

Then there was a musical number, but unfortunately, I can't remember what it was. I just remember that everyone (including Cleese) was dressed as medieval monks.

After a bit more clowning, the M.C. took over the reins of the event again, and launched into a long speech about the details of the monk costumes, talking about what the materials used where, how they found the patterns, and what kind of stitching they used to make them ... during which Cleese, who was sitting off to the side, kept making exaggerated "Good God I'm bored" faces the whole time.

I woke up quite amused. :)

-The Gneech
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Today's Bit of Forgotten English


"To produce a literary work by expendature of 'midnight oil.' Formed of elucubrare, to compose by lamplight.'"
--James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

"To doe a thing by candlelight."
--Henry Cockeram's Interpreter of Hard English Words, 1623

Birthday of English poet John Milton (1608-1674), who clarified the need for dictionaries, writing, "All arts acknowledge that then only we know certainly, when we can define, for definition is that which refines the pure essence of things from the circumstance." When asked how Milton could write such a monumental work as Paradise Lost and fare so poorly with sonnets, Samuel Johnson replied, "Milton, Madam, was a genius that could cut a colossus from rock, but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones."

Hmm ... I think that's what I should put as my profession from now on, "Elucubratist."

-The Gneech
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