March 14, 2009

The OED Is Flammable

As previously noted, Ammon Shea read the Oxford English Dictionary and then wrote a book about it, the cryptically titled Reading the OED. As the OED can now be accessed on-line, I've thrown away my magnifying glass and begun burning its 20 volumes to heat the house.

As I tear out pages one-by-one, I'm distracted by the occasional word, to wit:

debag: To remove the trousers from (a person) as a punishment or for a joke, e.g.:
‘We ought to debag him,’ he cried. Appleby was thereupon debagged; but as… he continued to walk about trouserless and dispense hospitality without any apparent loss of dignity, the debagging had to be written down a failure.
From Edward Compton Mackenzie's Sinister Street (1914).


Breaker said...


This might be the funniest all-purpose website I've ever seen.

Also, I can not believe so many people think that is actually Rudy writing 'Ilusorio'. Are you taking quotes from his actual blog and just posting the translations? What am I missing? Are you hiring people to come in and post really over the top naive comments?

If you don't want to post this comment at least shoot me an email with an answer if you could please, I am very curious to know.

Breaker said...

Oh, never mind. I just read your post "Two-Timers and Polish Scofflaws" and figured it out.

Still would like to know if you're paying folks to make ridiculously credulous comments though. If not, maybe you should try to sell them some completely inane item...Maybe one of your books! I kid!

Bart King said...

Hey, thanks for the good words!

As to Rudy's site, I've tried to make it apparent that the site is not genuine without just calling it "The Fake Rudy Fernandez Blog." (Actually, I am calling it that in Spanish...)

Anyway, my guess is that some readers sort of enjoy the idea that it COULD be Rudy's blog, so on some level, they just pretend it is, even as they consciously realize it ain't... And others just see the name and pictures and assume it's genuine, all other evidence notwithstanding!

(Oh, I would have sent these nonsensical thoughts in an e-mail, but don't see a contact on your blogger ID!)