Category Archives: General

Aphorism Of The Day

Every stink that fights the ventilator thinks it is Don Quixote. (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, tr. Jacek Galazka, New York, 1962, p. 67)

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Homeric Musings

I wonder how many readers had the same reaction I had on reading that Terry Teachout has been dreaming about discussing ‘Potato Head Blues’ with John Pancake. Mmmm . . . potato pancakes!

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Aphorism Of The Day

What snobbism — he wanted to be the Grand Eunuch. (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, tr. Jacek Galazka, New York, 1962, p. 153)

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Fielding Translates Silius

Silius Italicus doesn’t have much of a Nachleben, but here’s a translation of Punica 2.217-221 from The Complete Works of Henry Fielding, Esq., edited by James P. Browne (London, 1903), Volume XI, page 155:             A Simile from Silius Italicus Aut … Continue reading

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Beyond Bibliophilia

She herself was a victim of that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled save by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books. This passion is more common, and more powerful, … Continue reading

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Riddle

Why would ‘Noel’ be the most appropriate name for a priest’s pet parakeet?

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The Value of a First-Class Education

What one British rogue learned at school in the early 19th century: . . . I was sent to one of the most fashionable and famous of the great public schools. I will not mention it by name, because I … Continue reading

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Signs

I’ve been in Staunton, Virginia, for some Shakespeare at the Blackfriars Playhouse — more on that later. For now, I’ll just post about some interesting signs seen along the way: Sign that looks like it’s missing a letter: Grim Realty. … Continue reading

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Ponderings of a Fictional Fop

Ambrose Silk, September 1939: It is a curious thing, he thought, that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste. Nanny told me of a Heaven that was full of angels playing harps; … Continue reading

Posted in Culture: Fiction, General | 2 Comments

About the Author

If InstaPundit can post a portrait of himself drawn by a two-year-old nephew, I suppose I can post a portrait of me done by the youngest of my sixth-grade Geography and Latin students: I like the way it gives the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Work: Teaching | 2 Comments

Food for Thought

One of the great ironies of the Internet age is that traditional ephemera, such as newspaper articles and diary entries, now live on forever in indexes and blogs. Meanwhile, given the short shelf life of modern books — basically, six … Continue reading

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Mazomanie

Ann Althouse ends a post on Wisconsin cuisine with a linguistic comment: . . . isn’t it cool that there’s a town called “Mazomanie.” It sounds sounds like a form of insanity. A cute and amazing mania. It does indeed … Continue reading

Posted in Etymology, General, Orbilius | 2 Comments

Linguistic Puzzle II

Am I the only one who can’t help thinking of gigantic sandwiches when driving down Interstate 40 between Raleigh and Durham? Specifically when passing the sign for ‘William B. Umstead State Park’, I should add.

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Announcement: Spam Filters

Please be advised that comments containing the following words and phrases will be deleted by my software without me ever seeing them: ‘amateur’ ‘credit’ ‘debt’ ‘loan’ ‘consolidation’ ‘cash advance’ ‘mastercard’ ‘visa’ ‘american express’ Also names of prescription drugs, sexual practices, … Continue reading

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Prediction

Just as some of the minor poetasters of the 17th century would be utterly forgotten today if they had not been fortunate enough to be mocked in Pope’s Dunciad, some of the bands of the late 20th century, including many … Continue reading

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A Missed Opportunity

The BBC reports the discovery (or reclassification) of a huge underwater volcano off the south coast of Sicily, which scientists have named Empedocles. They explain the name in their last paragraph: The volcano was named Empedocles after the Greek philosopher … Continue reading

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Blogrolling

I’ve updated the blogroll on the right, adding Philolog and Thoughts on Antiquity to the Classics section, deleting a couple of inactive blogs from the Culture section, and catching up with a couple of name-changes. Another apparently classical weblog that … Continue reading

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Permanent Relief or Temporary Respite?

Over the last two or three months, spam comments on my two sites gradually increased from less than 200 per day, which was bad enough, to 300, then 400, then 500, and so on, peaking at around 900 per day, … Continue reading

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Caught Up Again

Earlier today I uploaded six jokes to the Ioci Antiqui page, covering February 1st through 6th. These are in a new PDF file for February, here.

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Etymological Stereotyping

Wanting to make a big pot of Mulligatawny a few nights ago, I finally got around to unpacking my Christmas blender. Consulting the manual, I was amused to discover that the Spanish name is the macho and sinister ‘licuadora’, while … Continue reading

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