Con-fuschias says…


No, not really. Confucius says:

A man who has committed a mistake
and doesn’t correct it
is committing another mistake.

{ via Quotes of the Day on twitter }

So contextually adapted, the Ancient Chinese wisdom is this: No blame will be apportioned to those who misspell and make typos, for it happens to us all (and some are too busy to proof, and some just don’t know ‘their’ from ‘there’). But those who recognise said error — and just leave it there to fester — are guilty of editorial negligence and ought to be ashamed of themselves.

PS. Is it terribly wrong that in my mind, ‘Confucius’ looks less like this…

{ via Pegasus News }

…and more like this?

{via and Rolawn }

Err, yes, that’s Con[man]…fuschias.
What can I say? A rebus is a terrible thing to waste.

* Post-it photo — and the Post-it party from whence it came — courtesy of my sister.

Shrove Tuesday: The fowl truth

Shrove Tuesday, it would seem, is not just about atonement, pancakes and merriment:

{ Oxford English Dictionary Online }

Let us not forget that this is also day for flogging roosters and gifting hens:

{ Oxford English Dictionary Online }

How very glad I am that times have changed.
Pancakes are such a victimless treat.

PS. Lard by any other name… Shrove Tuesday is, of course, Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. And no prizes for guessing why: in Hawaii and Lithuania it’s a feast-before-fast of donuts; in German American communities, fried potato dough with corn syrup (hmm, wholesome); in Sweden, pastry filled with marzipan and cream; in Iceland, salt meat and peas (?)… [ Wikify for more detail ]. Of course, if you have theistic reasons for marking the occasion, all that Gras has to keep you going through until Easter-Egg Sunday.

{ Pancakes via Toronto Island Community }

Polarity, Bipolarity and Sea butterflies

I’m backtracking here, but within the bounds of last week, I encountered two completely unrelated items, united by their bipolarity:

Exhibit A: Your OED Word Of The Day is… Meronym

A word denoting the midpoint between two polar opposites. As in North Pole> Equator <South Pole*.

More importantly, the OED WOTD came several days before Exhibit B…

Exhibit B: Odd, identical species found at both poles:

{ National }

And yes, that would be ‘species’ plural. At least 234 species have been found to exist in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Which in technical terms (if high school Biology and Wikipedia serve me correctly) means that a Limacina helicina from the Arctic could mate with a Limacina helicina from the Antarctic (supposing they found some way to consummate such a very long-distance relationship), to produce fertile offspring. Take that, established theories of biogeography!


Exhibit A and Exhibit B lead me to wonder firstly, whether last week’s recency illusion really was working towards the theme of ‘polarity’ (or if it was just me); and secondly, where the baby Arctic/Antarctic sea butterflies** would live. Certainly not in Kenya

…that’s for sure.

* Or as in Hungry> Satiated <Full…  Happy> Meh <Sad…  Awake> Daydreaming <Asleep… MSNBC> CNN <FOX.  I realise the OED would never punctuate it like this, but it seems so right that it can’t hurt to do so.

** Sea butterflies? How lovely. Actually, I think whoever wrote the Wiki entry for Limacina did a particularly charming job: …The shells of these sea butterflies are well developed, sinistrally coiled, turret-like and unpigmented”

Friday [spoon]feed treats: ALL NEW Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre!

(Not to mention Dandy-Lion, Seal Clubbing and Hiber-Nation.)

I really do love Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre. And here’s proof: my interface with the internet this morning proceeded thusly…

  1. Plug computer IN. Turn computer ON.
  2. Firefox: click. Hi there, CNN! Fun before news. iGoogle: click.
  4. Tweet accordingly.
  5. Change fakebook status accordingly.
  6. Send emails to potentially interested parties.
  7. Blog.

Well done, Friday. I like the way you’re doing things.

Related posts: Idiom Masterpiece: Two birds, One stone

Being a Snark (and some shameless self-promotion)

Word Nerds of the Web, Unite!

Why The Internet Could Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened To The English Language: Online epiphanies of an inveterate grammar snarkBy Olivia McDowell.


Snarks are not alone. Hence the above article (read it all here), which I wrote last year as part of my Online Journalism course. And now my little rant has been published in No·men·cla·ture, the online fruit of that course, and I feel duty bound to spread the word: Snark is cool! So please, read on.

Haters of lolcats and lovers of grammatical perfection, you will not be disappointed.

A bit more about snark…

  • The word ‘snark’ — which began life as a portmanteau (snide + remark) — now also refers to a nark (informer) with snarking tendencies: see detailed etymology here.

  • Lewis Carroll — widely credited with having invented the portmanteau during Alice’s second trip, Through The Looking Glass — also wrote the fabulous nonsense poem, The Hunting of the Snark.

  • It’s been said that Snark is the language of losers. Witless, angry, petulent and belittling. That it wishes it were Jon Stewart (who is just awesome, by the way), when it fact it’s more like, well, Bill O’Reilly.

  • To me, a snark is someone with a pedantic eye for detail, and a penchant for picking out minor details — right or wrong — then waffling on about them for no other reason than pure self-indulgence. A snark is cheerily particular: specific, but never angry.

  • ‘Snark’ is also another name for the Irony Mark (؟).