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April 6th, 2010

09:41 am - don’t mass your count nouns
“Less than half of all American adults ever read a book after leaving school”, writes Julia Hanna on behalf of Harvard Business School. And had she belonged to the right half, she would have known that it’s “Fewer than…”.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus, [info]harvard_u, [info]elitistasshat, and [info]grammar_whores.

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August 29th, 2009

11:42 pm

Current Mood: lovedloved

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July 24th, 2008

06:14 pm - Meme-medium-idiom-mush.
*yawn*Collapse )
Current Mood: blahblah

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July 21st, 2008

07:02 am
In literature, if you were looking for an author to describe the sensation of being "chained" to one's personality (especially in regard to one's inability to break apart the social parameters others have set for oneself), which writer would you seek out?

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June 30th, 2008

12:32 am - Bibliomancy
So I have been feeling lately as if I have not been reading much, and then I look around at the pile of books sharing the bed with me-- though books will be my bedpartner for only a few more days now, once my Other comes home-- and it occurs to me that instead of doing the one book meme that is going around, I shall list the stack of books herein that I am either reading, have just read, or am about to read:

Maus II, by Art Spiegelman (for the umpteenth time)
We have Ways of Making You Laugh-- 120 Funny Swastika Cartoons by S. Gross
The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
Chocolat, by Joanne Harris
Pages Passed from Hand to Hand, (The Hidden Tradition of Homosexual Literature in England from 1748 to 1914), an anthology edited by Mark Mitchell and David Leavitt
Introducing Derrida, by Jeff Collins and Bill Mayblin
The Early Asimov, book two, by Issac Asimov
Blood Roses, by Francesca Lia Block
Faith in Fakes, by Umberto Eco
Five Moral Pieces by Umberto Eco
The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters (again.)
Guide for the Perplexed, by Moses Maimonides
Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger (I read this at least once a year)
The Man in the Bowler Hat: His History and Iconography, by Fred Miller Robinson

I feel better now.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: midnight radio // Hedwig and the Angry Inch

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May 17th, 2008

11:44 am - Wishmaster Misheard Odysseus' Idealist Alchemical Revolution

Here is a mondegreen for the terminally over-read.

Warning: Contains Finnish metal. May not be appropriate for anyone.

If you like it, please go over to YouTube, rate it and show it to everyone you have ever met.

(Tags: alchemy, aleister crowley, ancient greek, che, class struggle, colonialism, cowboys, egregious use of popular culture, gentrification, golem, heinrich heine, heinrich von kleist, hinduism, homer, hsiung shih-li, idealism, jesus christ, kant, mysticism, nintendo, odysseus, orientalism, rembrandt, star trek, suffragettes, the bible, the marx brothers, you get the idea)

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March 11th, 2008

01:37 am - Academic Expulsion Rules and Practices Query
On 29 February of this year, two days before the election of pint-sized Dmitry Medvedev to the post of the President of Russian Federation, performance art group Vojna (War), formerly best known for its eccentric commemoration of conceptual poet Dmitry Prigov in a moving train of the Moscow Metro, mounted another exhibition in the Biological Museum. This time, they performed in support of the survival of the bear as the totem animal of ancient Slavs. Notably, the run-up to the election prominently featured a spontaneous youth movement of “bear cubs” rallying in support of Vladimir Putin and his designated successor, whose last name fortuitously echoes notional kinship with Ursus arctos. Thus the most recent Vojna performance featured allegedly authentic sexual intercourse under the banner captioned FUCK FOR BEAR CUB’S HEIR.

In the wake of this affair, some of its participants were identified as students of the Philosophy Department of the Moscow State University, from which they were expelled after the mandatory hand-wringing faculty sessions. Their expulsion was allegedly motivated by considerations of philosophical decorum. Coincidentally, political technology is the most lucrative specialty taught by the MSU Philosophy Department at present.

In the ensuing discussion, several parties have posed the question of whether or not students engaging in similar behavior would have been expelled from Oxford or Harvard. I therefore ask all interested and informed parties to weigh in on this issue with considerations of rules and precedents.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]elitistasshat; banned from [info]philosophy.

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December 11th, 2007

02:05 am - Music Elitism
In my regularly arrogant opinion, I must opine:
Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet,' (Act I, Scene I's "Interlude") sounds remarkably similar in scale structure and movement to Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' 's "Great Gate of Kiev." At least, as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev) and St Louis Symphony Orchestra (Mussorgsky).

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November 13th, 2007

09:42 pm - Prophylactics for memetically transmitted diseases.
Best potential firefox add-on ever.

Current Mood: pleasedpleased

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May 2nd, 2007

06:18 am - I hate you. Go away and leave us alone.
If there's one thing I hate about knowing Latin is the fact that so many people who DON'T know Latin (and it's almost always Latin) seem to want to adorn their skin with it - as if Latin has some sort of mystical or historical or semantic staying power. I blame fraternity/sorority mottos, universites, and secret societies. And Harry Potter. On occasion, in latin, someone will post and ask for an English-Latin translation of some adolescent maxim they created.

Sometimes, they'll say "I want to translate (dumb maxim that I'll regret in three years) into Latin. How do I do that?" This is annoying as their deft English grammar rarely coincides with Latin grammatical constructions. Or worse, their *koff* nuanced, clever ambiguity does not square with the Latin meaning they seek.

Then you get losers like this one:


Stop. Stop right there. You didn't use a capital "h" and you expect us to help you with Latin? Fuck off. Learn English syntax and come back when you complete fourth grade.

i know absolutely nothing about latin.

Indeed, you do not. Nor do you know anything about the capitalization of proper nouns. What did I say earlier? At least you admit your ignorance. However, you have not confessed your ignorance regarding what sadly appears to be your native tongue.

however, i have a deep respect for it and other classical languages as i'm an undergrad science student. "hydrophobic" and "plumbum" and other such words, ya know?

Um. Word... Yo. We appreciate the respect that you have for Latin and "other classical languages". I guess you're smarter than your syntax reveals. Come! Bow at our altar! Give us offerings of chocolate and money! Yes, "hydrophobic" is a word from Greek, to which I assume you allude when you say "other classical languages". My ancient Hebrew is a bit shaky these days. Please forgive me. You have obviously paid attention in your sophomore science class in high school. It seems that you also have memorized at least one element from the periodic table. Good for you! You will make an excellent scientist! I will think of you often while I am reading this biography of Robert Oppenheimer on my bedside table.

so, all i need to know is this:

you need to know? Good gracious! I'm pleased to see that your interest in one of the great linguistic and cultural foundations of the Western World is so efficient! You know exactly what you want. You're a blogger of action. Don't let context get in the way! Let's get down to brass tacks. Whadyaneed, friend?

is "Nemo nisi mors" reasonably translated to "Nobody but death"?

So you do know how to use the shift key! There is promise for you yet! Ah, it's 5:00 in the morning as I am typing this, but I am certainly awake now that I have heard your fingernails on my linguistic chalkboard. Truth be told, I have no fucking idea what you mean in this sentence. You use a personal pronoun and then pair it with an impersonal noun. Do you mean "Death" as some sort of god? Already you have confused me. This is like saying "Anyone but bush". It makes no sense. Also, regarding your English, "Nobody but" (and I assume you mean "except") "death"... what? Is there a verb involved? Are you going to tease the readers of your tattoo? Because everyone will certainly be baffled by your brevity, the soul of wit.

I assume "mors" is death from my limited french knowledge,

Indeed! "french" does receive many words from "latin" as it is a "romance" language. "Limited"? Do tell. And if you grow up to be a big scientist, you'll learn the super secret meaning of rigor mortis.

but all this conjugating and such is beyond me.

I know I'm exhausted from all this conjugating. You haven't even used a fucking verb yet! And such.

It's not even called that in Latin, is it? There's some other fancy word.

"Fancy"? I thought people got tattoos in Latin because that would be "fancy" enough, per se! Are you going to use that nifty "gothic" font like on that Sublime album?  The one with all the extraneous lines and curves? It's so fifteenth century, yes? I'm sure that's why Beckham got his "fancy" Latin tattoo, genius that he is.  What? Mors isn't good enough for you? How would you know the difference? I could tell you that the word is "irrumator" and you wouldn't know the difference! You don't even know what you're saying in English and you want to make it sound better in Latin? And embarrass us all?

Anyway, before I potentially put it on my body forever, I'd like to check.

Wise, brave soul. If I were you, I'd utilize that "scientific method" all the kids are talking about these days. Check and check again!

I mean it in the sense that...

Oh, good! Thank you. Now you tell us what you mean - at the end, after we have lost any interest and have passed on to the next exciting post on our friends list.

nobody but death will stop me/defeat me/etc etc.

A verb! My kingdom for a verb! Gods be praised! But what verb do you want? You're going to get your pithy maxim etched into your skin and you don't seem to be too concerned which verb it is. "Stop", "defeat". Who cares?!!! So long as it is all good and latiny!

And I see that you have learned the useful "etc" to imply that we all understand the rest of your unstated desire for a verb. We, too, desire that verb. Until then, we cannot help you.


There's more?!!!

"Nam et ipsa scientia potestas es" as "Knowledge is power"

What the fuck did you just write? You can't even copy your Latin correctly. That makes no sense, scientist. I ask you for a verb and you fuck another one up. What did I say about the scientific method?

Is it correct?

Brevity is the soul of wit. No.

Is there a potentially shorter way to say it and still get the point across?

You really want to reinvent the wheel, don't you? Francis Bacon, who invented this "scientific method" I keep emploring you to use, said it best and said it first. Here's the more succinct version: Scientia potentia est. And he said it Latin, once the language of syinsss.


Please. No. You've done enough damage. Have you considered majoring in accounting? I'm sure you'd make a fine actuary.

are there any sort of rules in Latin about capitalizing/not capitializing?

Your first real question of merit! Huzzah!

i'm most likely going to get everything in lowercase,

O RLY? How edgy, e.e. cummings.

is this some big taboo or something?

Yes. When the Vestal Virgins would do it, the Romans would bury them alive. Let that be a lesson to you. Something tells me you're still a virgin and will remain one for a long long time.

 i just don't wanna end up with a picture here with you guys giggling at how badly translated my tattoo is, lol.

"LOL", indeed.

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