[lit-ideas] Re: A guy called Guy

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 7 May 2015 20:40:12 +0200

Also, "I knew Grice" as an object.

On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 8:38 PM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Well, at least we learn that there was a preference for initials at

The second part is more problematic because, on the face of it, "I read
Grice" and "I met Grice" seem to have a similar structure, suggesting
knowledge by acquintance.

On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 8:30 PM, Redacted sender Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx for
DMARC <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

In a message dated 5/7/2015 11:20:11 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
pastone@xxxxxxxxx writes in Re: Paul Grice:
Thanks for the laugh!
On May 7, 2015 10:01 AM, "Omar Kusturica" <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I just found out about this guy, has anyone else heard about him ?


Indeed. "To hear about" needs some botanising.

Paul Grice seldom used his Christian (hey, what can be more Christian than
"Paul") name. It was anathema in Oxford to use Christian (hey, what can be
more Christian than "Paul") like that.

He thought it unfortunate that his mother gave him "Herbert" as his first
name ("Paul" is officially Grice's middle or second name). This was
Grice's mother was following her husband's advice, and Grice's father was
Herbert Grice.

In any case, it was anathema in Oxford to use Christian names -- initials
were favoured: J. L. Austin, P. F. Strawson, G. J. Warnock, S. N.
H. P. Grice. A few went with trios. My favourite has to be C. A. B.
Peacocke, and then there's P. M. S. Hacker.

When Grice settled on the Berkeley hills, people started to call him
(or "Grice" -- hardly "Herbert"). But if you look at the (c) notice for
his Way of the Words (or WoW) for short, you see the full name in full
resplandescence: Herbert Paul Grice.

To hear about this 'guy' is different from having 'read' this guy. But
then, people do say things like "Have you heard about this guy Mozart?".
don't mean, have you heard Mozart. Because you can hear Mozart's
since his voice was not recorded.

In Grice's case, his voice was recorded so

i. You can hear Grice.
ii. You can hear about this guy Grice.

In France, "Guy" was such a common first name, that most of William (The
Conqueror)'s friends were called "Guy". In less than a decade, the name
come to mean (figuratively), male person.

There was a famous statue of Guy Fawkes, that it was made in 1806, in such
a poor taste, that in some circles, 'guy' came to be used metaphorically
refer to a "grotesquely or poorly dressed person," some twenty years
afterwards, in 30 years later.

This guy was the leader of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up British king and
Parliament (in Nov. 5, 1605 -- cfr. Grice, "Be as specific as you want").

The effigies of this guy were paraded through the streets by children on
the anniversary of the conspiracy.

Some of these children went to Rome and "Guido" became popular.



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