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November 30th, 2006

Still Dodging Anvils

Well, I managed to get a couple of things out of the way yesterday and today, which is a relief but there are still more on the way. Oy.

But enough about that! Suffice to say I'm stressed and leave it at that. Meanwhile, it's time to say happy birthday to mouser! For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

whildom
Whildom -- in former days quondam -- is familiar to everyone as an archaic adverb.
--James Greenough's Words and Their Ways in English Speech, 1901


Birthday of Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586),
English poet, soldier, and statesman, who was distantly related to both Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Sir Walter Raleigh dubbed him "the English Petrarch". In his Apologie for Poetrie (1595) -- apology here meaning an explanation -- Sidney defended the English language on two fronts, including its overall simplicity: "I know that some will say it is a mingle tongue. And why not so much the better, taking the best of both and the other? Another will say that it lacks grammar. Nay, truly it has the praise that it does not want grammar, for grammar it might have, but needs it not; being so easy of itself, and so void of those cumbersome differences of cases, moods, genders, and tenses, which I think was a piece of the Tower of Babylon's curse that a man should be put to school to learn his mother tongue."

Whildom is -so- familiar, in fact, that we're not going to bother to define it on the grounds that you already know what it means! re: Sir Philip Sidney, I always enjoyed his "Stella and Astrophil", but frankly most poetry merits an apologie.

-The Gneech

Note To Myself

Crush the enemy, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of their women.

-The Gneech

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