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December 8th, 2005

Brainy Stuff

Snagged from Arts & Letters Daily:

The Clairemont Institute: "Rebels Without a Clue -- A review of Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture, by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter
The 2004 election results triggered dismay and incredulity across the Left. Liberals have begun saying, "We've got to get serious." A 2004 article in the radical journal LiP, for instance, echoed the Nation of Rebels thesis: the Left has been undone by its own "activistism," an ideology combining "moral zeal" with "political illiteracy." The antiwar movement, for example, understands "success" to mean that "actions take place, conferences are planned, new people become activists," even though "it's no longer clear what war we're protesting." Details, details. "[It] turned out to be important to have something to say to skeptics who asked: 'What's your alternative?'"

The Independent (Online Edition): " Hugh Hefner: The oldest swinger in town"
Hef, a descendant of the Puritans who arrived in America on the Mayflower, was raised in Chicago during the Depression. His mother was a farmer's daughter and his father an accountant. "Repression and puritan roots run deep," he explains. "My folks were incapable of showing affection. There was no hugging and kissing in the home."

Finally, here's Today's Forgotten English:

altiloquent
Lofty or pompous in speech; from Latin altus, high, and loquens, speaking.
--Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895


Birthday of Nathanial Ward (1578-1652), English divine. He was born and raised in Haverhill, Suffolk, but moved to Massachusetts, studying in Cambridge and becoming a pastor in Agawam. After helping frame New England's first legal code in the early 1640s, he returned to England. There he wrote his linguistically controversial The Simple Cobbler of Agawam (1647), in which he introduced many strange, and ill-fated, Greek- and Latin-based inkhornisms: "If the whole conclave of Hell can so compromise, exadverse and diametricall contradictions, as to compolotize such a multimonstrous manfrey of heteroclytes and quicquidlibets quietly ... the can doe more than the Senate of Heaven." He later added to his legacy of intermittent incoherence, describing a "nugiperous gentledame" and other women "with such exotick garbes as not only dismantles their native lovely lustre, but transclouts them into gant bar-geese, ill-shapen-shotten-shell-fish, Egyptian hieroglyphicks, or at the best into French flurts of the pastery, which a proper English woman should scorne with her heels."

"Transclouts?"

-The Gneech

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