Finished Gallimaufry: A hodgepodge of our vanishing vocabulary by Michael Quinion (of the excellent World Wide Words website.) Basically just goes through the origins of some of the more interesting obsolete words. It's grouped by section, so you have cookery, medicine, sport etc.
It's best for dipping in to, rather than reading from end to end. I liked it a lot since I'm fascinated by words. Even so, could have done with more digressions. There are some digressions which are fascinating, like the Times editorial on the introduction of the Waltz dance in 1816:
It is quite sufficient to cast one's eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs, and close compressure of the bodies, in this dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice, but now that it is attempted to be forced on the respectable classes of society by the civil examples of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion."Biting arsesmart" and "mild arsesmart" are related herbs named because "if it touch the taile or other bare skinne, it maketh it smart".
Piccadilly in London is named after "piccadil" an elaborately scalloped fringe to a collar. A highly successful tailor who made these had his large house nicknamed "Piccadilly Hall". "Pall Mall" is named after the curious game of "pelemele" which was played there. It was a kind of cross between croquet and golf, where you had to drive foot-wide wooden balls along the street and through a hoop with a mallet: the winner did so with the fewest strokes.
Saggar-maker's bottom knocker: saggar is a fireclay box in a kiln, the bottom of which has to be beaten flat by someone.
Worth a look if you like words.
Saw Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell at the cinema. Liked it a lot: perfect balance of terror and comedy.
Thought the protagonist Christine Brown was presented well: she seems realistically scared but also toughens up quite nicely.
Played around at the Bodyspacemotionthings at Tate Modern. Fairly fun, but don't think it means much.
Managed to fall over and painfully smack the side of my body thanks to stupidity and overconfidence. Dropped in at the Charing Cross hospital in Hammersmith (nowhere near Charing Cross) and they reckon my ribs are bruised.
They wouldn't X-ray me for cracks since there's nothing extra they can do to treat it so it's just a dose of radiation for no benefit. Find it annoying that I don't know for certain: suspect in defensive-medicine USia I've have been zapped pretty quickly. Doctor reckons it's probably just bruising, but they can't tell for certain without irradiation.
Looks like I'll have to give up most exercise for a few weeks. Hope I don't balloon too much.
They were going to ultrasound-scan my spleen, but the senior radiologist reversed the decision. Suspect it was slightly related to a big football match for a local team, but it can't have been too essential.
Ate at RSJ restaurant near Waterloo and Tate Modern. Really excellent. Even though the menu doesn't look exciting, they pride themselves on having the freshest, best ingredients. Their lamb stuffed with black pudding was gorgeous: succulent meat on the inside and almost caramel-crisp on the outside.
Articles. Will Japanese TV make young Americans more cooperative? The Last Psychiatrist on using Ramachandran's Mirror. Creative translator makes Donald Duck a cult in Germany.
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