Take Our WOrd For It Issue 192
Oct 09, 2003 22:30 PDT
Take Our Word For It Issue 192
For Mac users who have trouble with our regular homepage:
Unfortunately, rigorous work [day-job] schedules are delaying our TOWFI
work. However, to make up for the missing NOE last week, we have a NOE
*and* a book review this week.
**This Week's Issue**
NOTE: The links in this newsletter are good for October 9-October 21
unless the next issue is delayed.
In Spotlight, we present "Streaming"
In Words to the Wise, we bring you the following words/phrases:
woman as an adjective
In Curmudgeons' Corner Guestmudgeon Jean Jacobi has NEVER been a jewelry
In Sez You... we hear about a place-name quiz, last week's Laughing
Stock, augur and auspices, Wallops and maps, Latin acronyms, TOWFI's
absence, and thoughts on jumbled letters
In Laughing Stock we bring you Non Campus Mentis: World History
According to College Students
We had so much fun with phrases in last issue's "Spotlight" that we're
going to give you another! What about "run of the mill"? It dates from
the mid to late 19th century. The mill's "run" is its typical product,
so that "run of the mill" means "ordinary". There are also the
variations "run of the mine" and "run of the kiln", all from the same
period. The term came to be used in a figurative sense in the early
Lawrence Paros, whose web site "A Word With You"
(http://www.wordwithyou.com) has been listed on our links page
(http://www.takeourword.com/links.html) from time immemorial, has
written a new book entitled "Bawdy Language". A clever pun, this
title is in no way misleading and should be read literally, for this is
no book for children. George Carlin's blurb on the back cover is
"Terrific, entertaining, well researched, and just plain f*cking good"
and should give you an idea of this book's content. The faint of heart
or timid of speech should not check it out. The rest of you will have a
blast with it!
The content is quite dense - this is no dictionary. It is instead meant
to be read as any other narrative book. The density of it (by that we
mean the amount of information contained on each page) might make it
suited for chunks of reading, as in the evening before bed. However,
this in no way detracts from the book. Though it is jam-packed with
information, that information is both fascinating and titillating. Add
to that the lovely illustrations on every page and you have an enjoyable
Mr. Paros has done incredible amounts of research. While he includes
many etymologies, he also includes the history of usage of the words he
is examining, along with myriad synonyms and phrases that contain each
bawdy word tht he discusses. He clearly had a lot of fun with this
book, and that makes it a refreshing read. Imagine the glee with which
a genius child would sieze the opportunity to write "f*ck" numerous
times! That's a great analogy for the enjoyment that Mr. Paros clearly
got from writing this book.
In addition to the delightful illustrations in the margins, Mr. Paros
peppers each page with interesting, sometimes hilarious (as from Dorothy
Parker!) quotations. He has also bolded the words about which he is
speaking, making it much easier to follow along than might otherwise
have been the case.
Again, there are lots of words in this book that many might consider
coarse. There are five pages of discussion about the word "f*ck" and
its variations and phrases containing it. We know that we have a lot of
readers who are teachers and even students, and this is probably not the
kind of book to use in the classroom unless you want to be fired! And
it's not the kind of book you should leave lying about for your maiden
great aunt to find, unless, of course, you are explicitly mentioned in
Keep sending the funny stuff!
Don't stop being curmudgeonly! Send in your complaints!
The generous author of "Bawdy Language" (reviewed above), Lawrence
Paros, has given us a copy of his book to offer as a prize for our next
contest. That gives us a bit more impetus to get the contest going!
We'll bring you a NOE next week, and a new issue of TOWFI [around]
Until next time,
Take Our Word For It!
Melanie and Mike