What Planet is This?

17 Aug 2005

Verbogenise Away!

When I wrote Azimuth, my Blosxom replacement, Cody Woodard swiftly designed a great logo for me to use to represent it. The symbol is of a sextant within a circle, graduated towards the top to make it more like an arc. We couldn't, however, agree on the design shui of his credit. At first I had put his name under the logo, which he said was too overwhelming, and so he made me a miniscule logo of just 10px by 5px to go in its place. But he'd prefer me to add an acknowledgement to the source code, which is what I'll likely do, or to the announcement post, which I won't do since I've already been called a Winer just for correcting typos and validation errors. This entry is also a note of appreciation. Thanks, Cody!

I can tell I'm keeping a good house here because WPIT is becoming an increasingly popular acronym, and people keep suggesting things I should write about. Having said that, they don't seem to have cottoned onto the form of the entries: the past twenty or so have been very whimisically historical fact-based explorations. One of the better suggestions on what to write about was from Javier Candeira, who said I ought to republish email that I've sent, with the permission of the sendee of course. But of my thousand or so Gmail threads, I haven't identified one so far that would bear republishing, except perhaps a question I had about a character in the Tao Te Ching.

Javier spoke to me a while ago about shared culture, saying it's a shame that we don't overlap more. One of the things that I was thinking it's a shame more people don't share with me is the origin of the phrase "meet me under the green light at the end of Daisy's dock". Snoopy says it in a Peanuts strip, which is where I got it from, but I just found out today that it's originally from The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I probably ought to read that, the Dylan injunction having been lifted in Summer Days.

I've been thinking about pattern design and gardening, though it turns out that I don't know enough about either to come to any solid connection. I was thinking of something like Mozart's dice minuet but applied to gardening. In the process, I found the BBC's awesome virtual garden tool. There are a lot of cool tools on the web now. Cody recently pointed me to Lulu, which I may use to get a nice hardback edition of WPIT when it gets large enough, and perhaps some IRC logs (though there's possibly too much material for that). I'm at just over 20,000 words so far, so still quite short of novel length. The links would have to be made into footnotes.

I discovered whilst researching what will probably not eventually end up emerging as a history of golf entry that the word "fairway" only dates from 1910, according to the OED. There must be an antedating for that, surely? I also found out today about the humuhumunukunukuapua'a, the Hawaiian "fish who comes out of the water and sounds like a pig". You can use the word at parties to make people think you're about to upchuck. My main words of the day are tussock and tussocky, but I'd also like to take this opportunity to mention the other great words ulterior, rheopectic, puissance, sacerdotal, mucilaginous, and unguent. They're building blocks in a verbal toolkit with which you can make many puissanced tussocklings and the like. Verbogenise away!

Cite: Palmer, S.B. (2005). "Verbogenise Away!", in: What Planet is This?
Archival URI: http://inamidst.com/notes/verbogenise


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Periodical essays on linguistics, history, and much more, from Shakespeare to post Romano-​British findings. Like Notes and Queries sans the queries and solely antiquarian disposition.

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