Words, page 17


With them, the eye is situated so far from their vertex that they can scarcely take cognizance of what goes on at that extremity of their frame.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.


“The Irregular,” they say, “is from his birth scouted by his own parents, derided by his brothers and sisters, neglected by the domestics, scorned and suspected by society, and excluded from all posts of responsibility, trust, and useful activity.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.

Scout means: To spy on or explore carefully in order to obtain information; reconnoiter. e.g. boy scout. (AHD)


it was easy to be eloquent on so copious and delightfula subject, especially to me, who had been often apt to amuse myselfwith visions of what I should do, if I were a king, a general, or agreat lord: and upon this very case, I had frequently run over the wholesystem how I should employ myself, and pass the time, if I were sureto live for ever.


The tact and skill which suffice to avert a Woman's sting are unequal to the task of stopping a Woman's mouth; and as the wife has absolutely nothing to say, and absolutely no constraint of wit, sense, or conscience to prevent her from saying it, not a few cynics have been found to aver that they prefer the danger of the death-dealing but inaudible sting to the safe sonorousness of a Woman's other end.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.


«In the myth sung by the bard in the hall of Alcinous (Odyssey viii.300ff) the Sun-God, Helios, once spied Ares and Aphrodite enjoying each other secretly in the hall of Hephaestus and how he promptly reported the incident to Aphrodite's Olympian consort. Hephaestus contrived to catch the couple in the act, and so he fashioned a net with which to snare the illicit lovers. At the appropriate time, this net was sprung, and trapped Ares and Aphrodite locked in very private embrace. But Hephaestus was not yet satisfied with his revenge - he invited the Olympian gods and goddesses to view the unfortunate pair. For the sake of modesty, the goddesses demurred, but the male gods went to witness the sight. Some commented on the beauty of Aphrodite, others remarked that they would eagerly trade places with Ares, but all mocked the two. Once the couple were loosed, Ares, embarrassed, sped away to his homeland, Thrace.»

whole cloth

Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. One part, largely later and literary, consists of whole cloth borrowings from Greek mythology. The other, largely early and cultic, functioned in very different ways from its Greek counterpart.


Otherwise, as avarice is the necessary consequence of old age, those immortals would in time become proprietors of the whole nation, and engross the civil power, which, for want of abilities to manage, must end in the ruin of the public.


These and other historical matters became grist for the mills of his imagination, and by his treatment they provide transforming revelations in paradoxes. It is paradoxical, to begin with, that this first serious literary treatment of Japan should be in the context of make-believe lands. It is paradoxical that in the beginning of the third voyage a Dutchman — a fellow Protestant — demands the death of Gulliver, but the Japanese captain — a “heathen” — shows mercy and saves his life. Paradoxically, the only real nation he visits is the one whose language, Japanese, he can make no claim to have learned.
Gulliver's Travels And Japan: A New Reading By Maurice Johnson, Kitagaki Muneharu, Philip Williams. At http://www.jaffebros.com/lee/gulliver/moonlight/intro.html


«Acousticophilia is a form of paraphilia where sexual arousal is derived from sounds like music, poems or foreign-language chitchat. People with this condition usually have a specific interest, such as female Japanese conversation.»


I have that book. It is passing strange, lots of nice bits but all higgledy-piggledy. Made me wonder if this was a sign of a lack of editorial direction for authors these days. What the writer needed was someone to oversee the work and help him with a structure.
2007-04-25. Richard Bollard on alt.usage.english newsgroup.


Sometime between the eighteenth century European visits to the Island and the mid nineteenth century all of the Moai that had been erected on Ahus were toppled, leaving few Moai standing apart from the partially buried ones on the outer slopes of Rano Raraku. Oral histories indicate that this was part of internecine conflict among the islanders rather than earthquake or other cause.


On the darker side, the leadership has often experienced in its hybrid system the worst results of socialism (bureaucracy, lassitude, political corruption, disrespect of personal property) and of capitalism (windfall gains, a huge and widening gap between rich and poor, stepped-up inflation).


Ranma 1/2 (a Japanese comics): Pastiches of the characters [Journey to the West novel] appear throughout the manga and movies.


The publication of nude paparazzi pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in August 1975 was a major fillip.


Boolos was an authority on the 19th-century German mathematician and philosopher Gottlob Frege. Boolos proved a conjecture due to Crispin Wright (and also proved, independently, by others), that the system of Frege's Grundgesetze, long thought vitiated by Russell's paradox, could be freed of inconsistency by replacing one of its axioms, the notorious Basic Law V with Hume's Principle. The resulting system has since been the subject of intense work.


The bog bodies seem consistently to have been members of the upper class: their fingernails are manicured and tests on hair protein routinely record good nutrition. Strabo records that the Celts practiced auguries on the entrails of human victims: on some bog bodies, such as one of the Weerdinge Men found in southern Netherlands, the entrails have been partly drawn out through incisions.


A bog is a wetland type that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material.


He [Peter Vladimirov] also expressed frustration at not being allowed by the Chinese Communists to visit the frontline, although as a foreign diplomat Vladimirov may have been overly optimistic to expect to be allowed to join Chinese guerrilla sorties.


The Japanese invasion of its neighbours is often glorified or whitewashed, and wartime atrocities, most notably the Nanjing Massacre, comfort women, and Unit 731, are frequently denied by such individuals [the Japanese nationalists and/or right-wingers].


Only my affectionate Wife, alarmed by my continued absence, had quitted her room and was roving up and down in the Hall, anxiously awaiting my return.