Archives for February 2010

Richard Mitchell on verbing

First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing, because verbing weirds language. Then they arrival for the nouns, and I speech nothing because I no verbs.

—Richard Mitchell, the Underground Grammarian

J. R. R. T. on liars

Tevildo however, himself a great and skilled liar, was so deeply versed in the lies and subtleties of all the beasts and creatures that he seldom knew whether to believe what was said to him or not, and was wont to disbelieve all things save those he wished to believe true, and so was he often deceived by the more honest.

— J. R. R. Tolkien, ‘The Tale of Tinuviel’ (c. 1917)

Internet sociology

I have done a meticulous and exhaustive study, and found that 94.6% of flamewars in message boards and blog comments begin something like this:

Poster #1: X.

Poster #2: What do you mean, Q?

#1: I didn’t say Q, I said X.

#2: There you go again with Q.

#1: No, I’m telling you I said X.

#2: Q? Q?!! How DARE you say Q, you (expletives deleted)!

Poster #3: Calm down, buddy, he’s only saying K.

#2: That’s what I said . . . he’s saying Q . . . and don’t tell me to calm down!

. . . . . . .

Poster #1138: Oh, for Pete’s sake.

Dr. Johnson on intellectual vanity

Hume, and other sceptical innovators, are vain men, and will gratify themselves at any expence. Truth will not afford sufficient food to their vanity; so they have betaken themselves to errour. Truth, Sir, is a cow that will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.

—Samuel Johnson