Wednesday, 10 December 2008

is it ok if i do this, ms. lily?

hello. cornbread here. no spoilers are included and no animals were harmed in any way in the making of this post. it's more of a vocabulary thing.

when i read a book i make marks and notes in it. ((gasp)) 
pen, pencil, whatever's handy. sometimes it's just a favorite turn of phrase or line, or something i "think" might be a foreshadowing of things to come. (i'm usually wrong.) sometimes it's whole paragraphs that have a certain appeal. sometimes it's a word i either don't know or question if i know the meaning of.

this post is a list of words i came across while reading "tractors." quite a few are apparently common to the british vernacular. or maybe not. several are easy enough to get from context, but i've included them as well, along with web references and some pictures for your viewing pleasure...

like this one of secateurs (page 46 in my copy)

are you only seeing the "superior breasts"? well look again. the man is holding a pair of pruning shears. is secateurs  common nomenclature in europe? i've never heard it before. but what do i know? 

here's a clearer picture without the superior breasts. (hahaha, read the book.)
on with the vocabulary list...

j-cloth (pp. unknown) is another one i assume is british. it's basically a paper towel.
in "tractors", much to her sister's chagrin, nadia was partial to oxfam. (yeah, yeah, but i never heard of it before. and i bet josephine hasn't either.) maybe lily can show us which shop nadia most likely frequented. and while she's at it, show us where peterborough and selby are. (if i've done my sleuthing right, i think lily lives somewhere between the two.)

hrivna = about 20 cents american? i wonder if the dollar hasn't "fallen through the floor" (p. 33)  further by today. 

panopticon (p.150) i love this word. never heard or read it before that i remember. it's kinda like "big brother", huh?
and in more modern parlance, how 'bout this "little brother" use of the word? cool.

GCE (p.154) from context, i assume it's the 1st one in that list of acronyms.

primigravida (p.184) 

louche-looking (p.196) 
"louche - disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way" (Oxford Dict)

sic transit gloria mundi (p.246) 
(SIK TRAN-sit GLAWR-ee-uh MOON-dee) Latin for “Thus passes away the glory of the world”; worldly things do not last.

here's a poem of the same name by the esteemed ms. emily dickinson.

there are too many cool images here for me to choose just one, but somewhere in there is a photo of an ice berg. 
sick (sic) transit gloria mundi, indeed...

perspicacious (p.267) no matter how many times i look this word up i never seem to remember what it means. is that a tad ironic?

DIY (pp. unknown) DIY is just stupid...this must be another english thing. clearly it means, "do it yourself," but who says that??! "DIY"?

ok. i give. apparently lots of people do. a google search for DIY shows 121,000,000! results.
even how to kiss. 
for god's sake, you idiots, DIY!!!! 

(i'm sure these diy projects will change by the time you read this, but when i looked at it there really were instructions on how to kiss, but i was laughing too hard to read them. drat!)

so that's it for now, kiddies. i'm sorry if i broke any book club rules by posting without permission. and even sorrier if you already knew all there was to know about these (to me) relative  obscurities.

p.s. i am not about to proofread this long-ass post, so just tough it out. and happy reading...


josephine terese said...

a) i wondered what a j-cloth was too! glad to know.
b) i did know what oxfam was, but hadn't realized it was such a presence in britain before reading this book.

cornbread hell said...

i almost went back and edited that part out. i wish i had.
it was pretty presumptuous of me to guess you didn't know what i didn't. sorry.

Lily said...

lol, well done that man! I only meant to have a quick look at the blogs while my dog concluded her 2am peregrinations but I can't resist commenting on your superior jests:
secateurs are indeed in common parlance among British gardeners, not to be confused with saboteurs, although when my husband is let loose with the former, the resulting carnage suggests the latter.
j-cloth - reusable but ultimately disposable cleaning cloth. The posh person's version of recycling old knickers for dusters.
Oxfam/which shop - don't be daft, there's thousands!
Peterborough, Selby and Lily -
GCE - I managed 8 'O' levels and 1 'A' level, 'could have done better' (but our girls' school amalgamated with the boys' when I was 16.....)
primagravida - I was classed as an elderly one at 27. I see they've upped the limit to 35 now. pfft.
Its 03:11 now and I'm flagging. Good night, keep up the good work!

cornbread hell said...

thanks for the map. i thought selby was more north, keeping my record for usually being wrong safely intact.

Lily said...

OK, I'm awake again. More thoughts on your most perspicacious post...
Panopticon - I been inside Wakefield prison many times, a real life panopticon, its awesome. Legend has it that the original (here we go round the) mulberry bush is still growing in the grounds.
Loved the extract from Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'd forgotten how funny it was.
Thanks for the promo on your blog x

cornbread hell said...

dear ms. lily,
i'm so sorry to hear about your extensive prison experience. what were you in for?

if you'd rather not talk about, we'll understand.

Lily said...

About an hour each time hahaha!

bulletholes said...

I'd like to be one of those grapes.

Lily said...

Welcome bulletholes, why not join our merry band and you can have all the bosom berries you want!

Lily said...

Oh dear, I've just re-read that. Just to clarify - I meant grapes, not nipples. I'm not making this any better, am I?