Category Archives: Orbilius

Gentler Remedies Are Preferable

In A Perpetual Student, Laudator Temporis Acti notes a couple of misprints. Here is the second, from a paper by Joachim Latacz on Nietzsche: By now he has already received (from Leiden) the handwritten transcription of the time by Stephanus … Continue reading

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Curculio 5: Worst. Endearment. Ever.

Peter Davidson’s Poetry and Revolution: An Anthology of British and Irish Verse 1625-1660 (Oxford, 1998) includes a rather dull love-poem (number 36) by “T.C.”, most likely Thomas Cary, “Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles I” (516). The untitled poetic dialogue … Continue reading

Posted in Curculio: English, English Literature, Etymology, Orbilius | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Maybe I’ve Been Reading LanguageHat Too Long . . .

. . . since I misread Tim Blair’s post about a Prince concert in Sydney as saying that it took place at “Allophones Arena”. I suppose Allphones is an Australian telephone company. (Don’t tell me. If I cared I could … Continue reading

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This Takes Me Back

In a post at The Volokh Conspiracy, Stewart Baker includes a picture of the statue that stands outside the Federal Trade Commission (he credits JoeInSouthernCA): When I worked in D.C. 20+ years ago, I often walked past the statue. My … Continue reading

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Maybe I’m Too Fond of Puns . . . .

My local movie theater has been serving delicious hors d’oeuvres (from this restaurant) at their showings of the Metropolitan Opera HD simulcasts. What should they have served for Richard Strauss’ last opera on April 23rd? Carpaccio, of course.

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Sufficient Unto the Day is the Quotation Thereof

The professor is nothing if not a maker of card-indexes; he must classify or be damned. (H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series [1919], XVII. “George Jean Nathan”)

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Worst Offer Ever?

I wish I’d had my camera with me a week or two ago. A local grocery store had this special offer: SHRIMP BUY 1, GET 2 Limit 2

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Dear Xerox and Competitors:

Please provide a ‘default’ or ‘override’ button on all copy machines. The machine is not smarter than the user, at least when I’m making copies. I’m sick and tired of using machines that won’t copy my stuff at normal size. … Continue reading

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Dear Barnes and Noble:

Please don’t send me an e-mail telling me my order is “on the way” at 11:18pm if the book was already on my porch when I got home from work roughly seven hours earlier. You do this a lot. It … Continue reading

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Databases

From the site of a bookseller whose name (and URL) I will kindly omit: Cicero was a primate, and letters are no doubt symbols as well as collections of symbols, and Cicero’s letters are a “particularly highly-developed form of primate … Continue reading

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Nomen Omen? Apparently Not

Last week I drove down I-97 from Baltimore to Annapolis and found that part of it is named “Senator John A. Cade Memorial Highway” after a long-time state legislator. Having seen and enjoyed Henry VI, Part 2 at the Blackfriars … Continue reading

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A Clue Hidden in Plain Sight?

In all the discussion of the Stuxnet worm (here is one recent example) many have noted the bit of code ‘DEADF007′, though they can’t agree whether it means “Dead Fool” or “Dead F***in [Secret Agent] 007″ or something else to … Continue reading

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Don’t Do It, Canadians!

Colby Cosh reports on efforts to rename British Columbia, and adds: “The good news, for those who dread the idea, is that the proposed alternatives so far are almost all unspeakably awful.” One of the names proposed in the linked … Continue reading

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Quotation of the Day

Tim was so learned, that he could name a Horse in nine Languages; So ignorant, that he bought a Cow to ride on. (Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1750)

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Quotation of the Day

Proud Modern Learning despises the antient: School-men are now laught at by School-boys. (Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1758)

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Botulism Strikes French Philosopher

This is the best thing of its kind since the Sokol hoax.

Posted in Orbilius, Philosophy | 2 Comments

A Musical Anniversary

Does a 125th birthday count as a significant anniversary? If so — also if not — today is Alban Berg’s 125th. In commemoration, I’m playing the only really tolerable pieces written by the New Vienna School, Berg’s Violin Concerto and … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Orbilius | 1 Comment

Quotation of the Day

Like all artists when they are not looking merely outrageous, Onuphrius was very particular about his appearance. It was not that he dressed fashionably, but he always tried to give his lamentable selection of clothes a certain romantic dash, and … Continue reading

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For Ignorant Tourists

Proposed motto for the city of Staunton, Virginia: Staunton: The ‘U’ is Silent

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Truth in Advertising

A local convenience store has a sign out front: Cheeseburgers Buy 1, Get 1

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