Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spanghews, skimble-skamble and crimping: The pleasure of words and mayoral musings 

Found this 'World Wide Words' site (in happy appropiateness via a reference to P.G.Wodehouse) where 'International English is examined from a British vewpoint.

As an example of terms discussed, 'Skimble-Skamble' is such a good invocation of the Mayoral campaign of Boris Johnson that you dont really need to click to find its meaning. A joyful site to explore.

The term 'A Johnson' is not included however. For that you need to go to Terry Pratchet's book 'The Hogfather' where there is a reference to the famous Discworld inventor 'Bloody Stupid Johnson'. BS Johnson did not make things that did not work. He made things that worked in disastrously unexpected ways. Asked to design an ormanental fountain he comes up with an anti-missile system for example. Such an artefact is 'A Johnson'. If we all campaign hard enough in the London Mayoral scrap maybe the term will make a future upgrade of 'World Wide Words'...

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