John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Some Language Geekery

First, Improve Your Singlish.

Second, here's Today's Forgotten English...

Overcome; exhausted; Dickens's Pickwick Papers, 1836.
--John Farmer and W.E. Henley's Slang and Its Analogues, 1890-1904

Man Studies to Death
Today is the 220th birthday of Henry Kirke White, son of a Nottingham butcher and a veritable born scholar. At age seven he would sneak downstairs after everyone was asleep to teach a servant to read and write. The rest of the time, he was an unwilling assistant to his burly father and at fifteen was sent to work in a local lawyer's office, where he excelled in the study of Latin and Greek. Lady Luck smiled briefly on him. According to W. & R. Chambers's Book of Days (1864): "[T]hrough Mr. Simeon, the author of the well known Skelton Sermons, his fondest hopes were realized. In October, 1805, he went to tinction. ... But he had long overtaxed his strength. At the end of one short year from entering the college, exhausted nature sank beneath incessant toil and anxiety." White died in October 1806, at age twenty-one.
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