… And that’s the number of letters in the English alphabet, if majuscules…
1704, of a letter, “capital;” 1738 as a noun, “a capital letter,” from French majuscule (16c.), from Latin maiuscula (littera), fem. of maiusculus “somewhat larger, somewhat greater,” diminutive of maior (see major (adj.)).
1705, “small (not capital) letter,” from French minuscule (17c.), from Latin minuscula, in minuscula littera “slightly smaller letter,” fem. of minusculus “rather less, rather small,” diminutive of minus “less” (from PIE root *mei- (2) “small”). It refers to the kind of reduced alphabetical character which arose 7c. and was from about 9c. substituted in writing for the large uncial. From it the small or lower-case letters of the modern Latin alphabet were derived.
As an adjective, from 1727 in printing, “not capital, of reduced form, small” (of letters); the general sense of “extremely small” is attested by 1893. Related: Minuscular.
Cade recently wrote the phrase ‘turd in the punch bowl‘ to me in a discussion we were having about bubbles…
Well, to be fair, he did most of the discussing…
And it got me thinking as to whether election of Prez Trump in the US and the vote to leave the EU in the UK last year, weren’t the general public, in both countries, taking the opportunity to ‘throw a turd’ into the punch bowls of the political/governing elite: We’re sick of your parties.
Perhaps those that voted for the status quo (‘Clinton’ in the US and ‘Remain’ in the UK) consider the other side to be ‘party poopers‘?
*Not sure that scene works as well these days, Clicky… For one thing the host is smoking; smokers aren’t invited inside these days…/taps teeth… what about the other scene with that Song… ‘Shat!’*
*Hmm, more fun but no one smoking in that either…/sigh… Perhaps because animals don’t smoke? …aside from your good self, Clicky…*
*… and the odd member of the Corvus family… Also considered to be intelligent…*
Frank Davis today, in the Blue Universe, has a post that includes an image the new Vice Prez Pence, who, like Nigel Farage…
*Oh nice syncing, Clicky…/pats snout…*
…in the UK, is more supportive of smokers…
idiot (n.)early 14c., “person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning;” also in Middle English “simple man, uneducated person, layman” (late 14c.), from Old French idiote“uneducated or ignorant person” (12c.), from Latin idiota“ordinary person, layman; outsider,” in Late Latin “uneducated or ignorant person,” from Greek idiotes“layman, person lacking professional skill” (opposed to writer, soldier, skilled workman), literally “private person” (as opposed to one taking part in public affairs), used patronizingly for “ignorant person,” from idios“one’s own” (see idiom).
In plural, the Greek word could mean “one’s own countrymen.” In old English law, one who has been without reasoning or understanding from birth, as distinguished from a lunatic, who became that way. Idiot box“television set” is from 1959; idiot light“dashboard warning signal” is attested from 1961. Idiot savant attested by 1870.
If we go with the literal meaning, anyone who votes somebody to represent them in public affairs is, literally, an ‘idiot’ 😉
laud (v.)”praise highly, sing the praises of,” late 14c., from Old French lauder “to praise, extol,” from Latin laudare “to praise, commend, honor, extol, eulogize,” from laus (genitive laudis) “praise, fame, glory.” Probably from an echoic PIE root *leu- and cognate with Old English leoð “song, poem, hymn,” from Proto-Germanic *leuthan (source also of Old Norse ljoð “strophe,” German Lied “song,” Gothic liuþon “to praise”). Related: Lauded; lauding.
nose (v.)”perceive the smell of,” 1570s; “pry, search,” 1640s, from nose (n.). Related: Nosed; nosing.
watt (n.) unit of electrical power, 1882, in honor of James Watt (1736-1819), Scottish engineer and inventor. The surname is from an old pet form of Walter and also is in Watson.
Walter masc. proper name, from Old North French Waltier (Old French Gualtier, Modern French Gautier), of Germanic origin and cognate with Old High German Walthari, Walthere, literally “ruler of the army,” from waltan “to rule” (see wield) + hari “host, army” (see harry). Walter Mitty (1939) is from title character in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by U.S. short story writer James Thurber (1894-1961).
Sunday evening and all was quiet in the Library: Thoughtful Man was out working the mean streets of Southend; Things 1 & 2 were busy online making war and making friends, and our living, breathing hot water bottle was diligently practicing for any future, upcoming Sleep event at the Olympics. Poppy lay curled, molded around my backside, under my thick woolen cardie, snoozing and warming the small of my back. I’ve often mused how, dooshounds are more feline than canine. Well, ours is anyway.
Chores completed for the day (at least until the return of a weary Thoughtful Man), I was luxuriating in space and time, skipping through universes that I access via my book, listening to pictures and feeling out the sharp edge of words in conversations.
I wasn’t alone: Clicky was with me, of course, accompanied by the dynamic duo, Cath Fine and her significant other Nick O’Teen. All remained steadfastly to hand as I flitted and floated, fleetly fleed and flied, feeling roam free.
The telephone rang, causing Poppy to poke a curious nose out from under her cardigan tent.
“Alright darling?” Thoughtful Man voice piped through, “I’ve just dropped off in Laindon and thought I’d come home now.”
I wasn’t disappointed: Laindon is a good fare. “Okay sweetie. We’ll have dinner when you get back.”
“Yeah, I won’t be long. Listen,” he paused, ” I’ve had an idea for a smoker you can write your next post about.”
I was momentarily nonplussed; Thoughtful Man doesn’t usually read my wibblings. “What? Who?”
“Slush,” he said. Now I was really confused and repeated the name back to him.
“No, Slash. The guitarist from Guns N’ Roses,” he replied.
I thought for a moment and tried to picture the personage in my mind. “Curly black hair, wears sunglasses and top hat?”
“That’s the one,” Thoughtful Man confirmed. “He smokes on stage, sticks his cigarette in end of his guitar. There’s bound to be lots of photos of him smoking.”
I took a drag of Nick and a slurp of Cath, and briefly pondering his suggestion. Clicky, always quick off the mark, got busy. “But you don’t like Guns n Roses,” I answered. Well, he doesn’t.
“No, but I think you should do one on somebody that’s not dead. Look we’ll talk about it when I get home. Do you fancy pizza?”
Pizza! I crossed ‘washing up’ off my mental list of potential future chores, happily agreed with his suggestion, and rang off after an embarrassing number of ‘byes’ that’s really more associated with first flush of romance rather than 26 years into a stretch.
“Oh, pizza?” came the mournful voice of Thing 1 from the darkened nook of the Library, “Can’t we have Chinese?”
Dear Reader, I’m not gonna do Slash. He gave up smoking in 2009 after his mum died. He fails the ‘Bravery’ criteria. But I do like the idea of profiling somebody alive… Thoughtful Man, a firm anti-monarchist, will probably hate me for this butt…
Okay, okay, I freely admit, he’s no Barry Sheene, but he is alive and still smoking, and as for the fifth criteria, well, he did cause an interesting stink…
*I dunno, Clicky, it’s a bit weak… /bites nail… And Thoughtful Man really doesn’t like royalty… /spits… It could all hinge on the Song… What do you reckon?*
benchmark (n.)also bench-mark, “surveyor’s point of reference,” 1838, from a specialized surveyors’ use of bench (n.) + mark (n.1); figurative sense is from 1884.
An online friend, who’d spent the day in Birmingham, sent me through a photograph and a trivia question yesterday evening…
As I was sitting up in bed at the time – Thoughtful Man and I were catching up on a saved episode of ‘Pointless’ (I’d just got a Pointless Answer with Rutherford B. Hayes…/buffs nails) – and my iPad would only blow the image up so far, I decided to give it a good, hard stare and hazard a wild guess…
I was hopelessly wrong of course, but my friend is nothing if not incredibly kind…
We wrote about the Bonhams Stafford auction a few weeks back and pulled out our pick of the products then.
Top of our list – aside from the many, many motorcycles that we would have loved to have been able to drop some pound notes on – was the 1974 Bell race helmet that is said to have been worn by Barry Sheene during his infamous Daytona crash in the same year.
It was up for sale at the weekend with a reserve price of just £5000; and even at this amount it was way past our budget. But it eventually sold for £15,625 (including sales premium).
Not too bad for a lid that’s over 35 year’s old, is scuffed out of recognition and even has a hole drilled into the front chin-guard for a cheeky cigarette!
If Dear Reader is at all unfamiliar with Barry/\Sheene, there now follows a short information film, detailing the bad breaks that befell him in pursuit of his racing dreams…
Just what I’ve come to expect of a smoker in these Times of official sounding statements like ‘SMOKING WILL KILL YOU’ and ‘YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO‘ – Bravery and Sexiness… Don’t believe me on the amount he smoked?
“We’re gonna be hit by a storm tonight. It’s all over the news,” his voice crackled down the line.
Some light key tapping revealed the worst. “Oh, you’re not going to continue working in that are you?”
“Probably not. Hardly anyone out anyway. Pay day is a week away and then there’s Christmas to think about,” he said. He sounded cold and lonely; in these days of Uber-bollocks, hospitality business-busting smoking bans and a surfeit of surly fares on drug-fuelled jollies, a cabby’s lot is not a happy one.
“Okay, baby. If it gets too bad, just come home.”
Loopy looked at me intently, craning his neck away from his game as I finished the call. “What’s up with dad?”
“Nothing,” I reassured him, “apparently we’ve got a storm on the way.”
“A storm? Will the internet go down?” Nice to see Thing 1 has his priorities straight */rolls eyes…*
*Knot in the mood for much tonight, Clicky… slightly fucked off with others that really should know better… /sigh… Come, cheer me up…*
*/:D Ah you are a good assistant… /settles back and pats snout…*
*Clicky? …/shakes head and places finger on lips…*
meeting (n.) “action of coming together,” Old English gemeting, verbal noun from meet (v.). Meaning “gathering of people for discussion, etc.” is from 1510s. In 17c., it was applied generally to worship assemblies of nonconformists, but this now is retained mostly by Quakers
As it happened, Dear Reader, I spent quite a bit of time this afternoon pondering a devastatingly good blog post by Anna Raccoon…
With first Brexit, and now Trump, I have the sense that a spirit of revolt is spreading across the West. I’m looking forward to seeing a bushfire of similar revolts spreading across Europe. Revolts against authority, revolts against top-down control, revolts against social engineering, revolts against the entrenched political elites. These things are catching: when people see other people doing something, they’re inclined to think that they could do it too. It gives them ideas.
“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.