May 14th, 2008

Party Guy

Happy Birthday, thornwolf!

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

man-browed


Having hair growing between the eyebrows. Here it is deemed unlucky to meet a person thus marked, especially if the first one meets in the morning. Elsewhere it is a favourable omen. The term, I suppose, had been primarily applied to a woman as by this exuberance indicating something of a masculine character.
—John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808


Egyptian Day


Among the Egyptians and our British ancestors, the 14th of May was the most unlucky day. The day of the week upon which that fell was deemed the most unfortunate, and nothing of consequence was done upon it. After the introduction of Christianity, Childermas Day took the place of the 14th of May, the superstition being transferred thither.
—Thomas Fosbroke's Encyclopedia of Antiquities, 1843


Robert Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors (1859) contained the curious expression, "honest as the skin between the brows," probably a reference to the above-mentioned superstition, which is found in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and elsewhere.

So, if you can change which day is unlucky simply by fiat, why not assign it to February 29th so it only shows up every four years? Or for that matter, why not set it for Octember the 300th?

-The Gneech
Kero class

Fictionlet

"Actually," said Sharon, helping herself to another tortilla chip and salsa, "there's this French thing I've heard people say. "Shershay luh vim, or something like that. Supposedly it's this very clever and insightful thing to say, that makes people wink like they're on to some big secret, but I have no idea what it means."

"I think I've heard that," said Brigid. "I don't know what it means, either. Ask Greg. That's exactly the kind of pointless thing he would know. Hey Greg!"

Greg, eager to extract himself from conversation with Treville, bounded over to the table like a dog happy to see its owner. "You rang?"

"What does shershie luh fim mean?" Brigid asked.

"'Shershie luh...' Oh! You mean cherchez la femme?"

"Probably."

"It's French," said Greg.

"Thank you for that penetrating glimpse into the glaringly obvious."

Greg shrugged. "Well, it means 'look for the woman.' Sort of like our 'follow the money,' except it would be 'follow the woman.' The idea is that if two guys are having a fight or there's some other gigantic plastic hassle, it was probably stirred up by some troublemaking chick."

"Nice people, those French," said Sharon icily.

"Hey," said Greg, "I'm just telling you what it means, that doesn't mean I agree with it. I suppose you could go with Garry Trudeau's translation, which was 'Keep an eye peeled for broads.'"

"Even better," said Brigid.

"It was coined by Alexandre Dumas," said Greg, "of Three Musketeers fame. Evil women seem to be a favorite theme of his. O. Henry used it as a title for one of his stories, as well, which is probably where it came into popular parlance."

Sharon shook her head. "How do you know this stuff?" she asked.

Greg blinked. "Well, I ... uh ... you know, what's weird, I don't know how I know. I assume I must have read it somewhere."

"And yet," said Brigid, "this is a man who gets lost climbing the stairs to his own apartment."

"I didn't get lost!" Greg protested. "I just went up one flight too many."

"Case closed," said Brigid, and shooed him away.

-The Gneech

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Conan Civilization Sucks

Cha-Ching!

Oh look, half of our savings just paid for last month's car maintenance and repairs.

On the other hand, that means we didn't just put a ton of car maintenance charges onto our credit cards.

Definitely a step up in our financial picture.

-The Gneech
  • Current Mood
    okay got other uses for that money
Jeeves Think Not

"Are You Being Served?" — The Movie

Yes, there really was one. 0.o I watched it this evening.

It was ... weak.

Take the plot of the early episode "Dear Sexy Knickers," throw in a little of Woody Allen's Bananas, and set it all at a Spanish hotel, and you've got the whole thing. The pacing is slow, half the jokes stop making sense out of context, and you're left at the end wondering if maybe the show wasn't quite so good as you remember it being.

Oh well! Back to Netflix it goes.

-The Gneech
  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed
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