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January 6th, 2004

Today's Forgotten English

comic struck
Struck with amazement; thunderstruck; "moon-struck"; Shropshire.
--Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905


Death of John Dennis (1657-1734), English playwright and critic, who in 1709 devised a method of simulating thunder onstage with a large mustard bowl for his dramatic work Appius and Virginia. Despite this well-crafted special effect, the play closed quickly. The Drury Lane Theatre manager admired the thunder-generator, using it soon afterward for a production of Shakespeare's Macbeth, which Dennis attended. Hearing a distinctive thunderclap and realizing that his mechanism was responsible for it, he purportedly coined a common expression on the spot: "See how the rascals use me. They will not let my play run, yet they steal my thunder!" In The Dunciad (1728) Alexander Pope included this mock tribute to Dennis:
Let others aim, 'tis yours to shake the soul,
With thunder rumbling from the mustard-bowl.

I assume here that "Shropshire" is where the term originated, rather than being another meaning for 'comic struck.' ("I'm amazed! I'm astounded! I'm Shropshire!") Also, I apologize for the quotes being inside the semicolon rather than the other way around, but that's how it was in the original text.

-The Gneech, just borrowing somebody else's thunder for a few minutes with every intention of returning it

Because Mornings Are Slow...

Marnie, by the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy

Ooo-oo!

Well, Marnie's got a problem
She wants to keep a lion in her room
She's going crazy
She's going to get in trouble soon
She's going crazy
Her bedroom wall looks just like Regent's Park
She's going crazy
She hunts for tiny creatures after dark

Ooo-oo! Feline fury of the jungle
Ooo-oo! Stripey death from Bangladesh
Ooo-oo! Oh Marnie's going to get in trouble
Ooo-oo! She's going to end up in a mess,
yes yes!


Oh Marnie, you're so charming
I never could avoid you if I tried
You're so disarming
I love the way you blink your precious eyes
But you're so crazy
I have to tell you now before its too late
You're going crazy
You'll end up on some savage creature's plate

Ooo-oo! Feline fury of the jungle
Ooo-oo! Stripey death from Bangladesh
Ooo-oo! Marnie's getting in a muddle
Ooo-oo! She's going to end up in a mess


Now listen Marnie, understand me
They're not just everyday big moggies.
Marnie, these are big and wild:
They don't just go "meow"

(...Oh Esther, will the snows never cease?
 Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!)

Oh Marnie's got a problem
She wants to keep a panther in her tiny upstairs flat
And not just any panther
Uh-oh, Marnie wants it black
I'm going really haywire
All I want's my girlfriend back

And I say
Ooo-oo! Feline fury of the jungle
Ooo-oo! Stripey death from Bangladesh
Ooo-oo! Marnie's going to get in trouble
Ooo-oo! She's going to end up in a mess,
yes yes!

Hey!

Does anybody else out there remember the arcade game, Troll Bowl?

-The Gneech

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