Monday, December 04, 2006

3 random things

A Kurt Vonnegut quote:

"Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the universe."


“Basket-case” was an expression used by World War One nurses to refer to those patients who had their legs and arms blown off by shells – they were the patients who had to be carried in baskets around the hospital. Today we use the expression to mean someone who cannot handle themselves emotionally, but it originally derives from a person who could not handle themselves physically. Even though it developed in this century virtually no one knows that the word’s history is quite gruesome. I have not used it since looking it up in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Spell Check Lit Crit

Years ago I was writing a paper on Moby Dick and the computer’s spell check did not recognize the name of the main character, Ishmael. The computer’s only suggestion was “Fishmeal,” which is ironic since Ishmael is one of the only characters in the book who does NOT end up as fishmeal.


Björninn said...

The Vonnegut line that, for whatever reason, sticks in my head is "God never wrote a good play in his life."

I can't even remember the context, and I was going to attribute it to Deadeye Dick before googling it just now, and apparently it's from Cat's Cradle. I guess it might be read as a celebration of the un-theatricality of ordinary life, but I remembered it as a weird, off-the-cuff denounciation of God by a frustrated playwright.

-Which explains the Deadeye Dick connection, I guess. I don't have the books at hand, so really I'm just rambling in the dark here.

jennifert72 said...

LOVE the ishmael thought.
Geoff u r HYsterical :)