February 12th, 2008

Fred/George

Favorite Poem?

Apparently the "Writer's Block" feature for LJ last week was to list your favorite poem. I'm not generally big on modern poetry [1], but I am fond of this little verse by William Hughes Mearns:

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh how I wish he'd go away!

It was written in 1889, but always seems very contemporary to me.

-The Gneech

[1] a.k.a., the Language of Wangst. Classical verse (a la Beowulf or Shakespeare) isn't included in this. One major exception I will allow is for the Romantics (Blake, Shelley, et al.), who while they tended towards the emo, still managed to not suck.
Party Guy

Happy Birthday, blue_panther!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

contumely
Language abounding with the bitterest expressions intended to subject a person to the reproach of others and to render him uneasy.
--Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775


Rudeness, contemptuousness.
--William Grimshaw's Ladies' Lexicon and Parlour Companion, 1854


Abuse, affront; from Latin contumeo.
--Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749


Lincoln's Birthday
Feast Day of St. Julian the Hospitaler,

a patron of hospitality, who has long comforted such travelers as circus performers and other traveling entertainers. C. E. Humphry's Manners for Women (1897) offered readers advice that sometimes ranged from verbal one-upmanship and polite backstabbing to euphemistic pleasantries: "Years of mingling in polite society are necessary to its full development, and though a delicate sense of what is due to others is the very essence of tact, it is never quite perfect without a knowledge of the gentle art of snubbing. ... The 'retort courteous' loses none of its point for being courteous, and how agreeably it compares with the bludgeon style of warfare of some fair warriors."

If there was a flow of logic to that paragraph, I certainly missed it.

-The Gneech
Alex Spaz

The Hazards of Working From Home

Me: "Okay, I need to get up and go over to the computer now."

Buddha: "Not so fast, bucko!" *curls up in lap and purrs*

Me: "Trapped! Oh noes! I can't go over to the computer!"

Buddha: *evil laugh*

Me: "NOOOOOoooooooo!"

Work: *totally doesn't get done*

-The Gneech
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