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June 15, 2010


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You're certainly right about Latin sounding egg-heady, and it's all Shakespeare's fault. Well, his cohort [sic] who imported all sorts of Latin words into English (they were called "inkhorn terms." There's wonderful satire of them in Ben Jonson's play "Epicoene" (the title itself!) --

Morose: . Why? if I had made an assassinate upon
your Father; vitiated your Mother: ravished your
Sisters ———
Tru. I would kill you, Sir, I would kill you, if you
Mor. Why? you do more in this, Sir: it were a ven-
geance centuple, for all facinorous Acts, that could be
nam'd, to do that you do. . . .

See you Saturday.

Outstanding post -- using the drink as a vehicle (oops, I mean a sidecar) for talking about Latinate constructions with their obfuscatory extra syllables.

Thanks to both of you. Dick, "inkhorn" --I love that! -- is as chewy as it gets. I love how that coinage couples underground resistance TO Jonson with description OF him, like shouting "a Pox on all facinorous, obfuscatory Acts!"

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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