[lit-ideas] Re: Whatever Happened to Hunter Thompson?

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 16:22:08 -0700

Explanatory notes, pinned to an aphoristic post:

> When you say, "Orphan," do you mean child without parents, or frequently?
> And do you say child without parents frequently, that is do you say orphan
> often?

Ref to "Pirates of Penzance."

> Meanwhile we all blame Taine for chauvinism, and claim it's all according to
> Cocker.

Nicholas Chauvin, much decorated for bravery in Napoleon's campaigns, became
a bellicose patriot in the post-Napoleonic era.  One might call him a
"jingoist" except that would be anachronistic, the British not developing
the term jingoism until nearly a hundred years after the French
"chauvinism."  Odd, that.  Hippolyte Taine fictionalized the historical
Chauvin, putting him in a play.

"All according to Cocker," meaning "exactly correct," refers to London
engraver and teacher Edward Cocker (1631-75) who reputedly penned
"Arithmetick" (1678) which ran to 112 editions.  The expression "All
according to Cocker," was first used in Arthur Murphy's, "The Apprentice," a
farce of 1756.  

> (If that doesn't set JLS off, I'm a nightingale, and I've hid the palladium
> in my own back yard).

A "nightingale" is someone who provides comfort to another--no surprise
there.  The word also refers to a flannel wrap--used to keep patients' arms
and shoulders warm--of the sort worn by Florence N.

A palladium is something on which to depend for protection.
"Have you met my dog?  He's a palladium."
"Funny, he looks like a German Shepherd."
As all you classicists know--but I didn't--the Palladium was a statue with
magical powers, carved by a grieving Athena after slaying her chum Pallus.
The Trojans believed it granted them divine protection, but they hadn't read
the small print.  The current location of the statue is unknown.  Why
theatres and cinemas are called "palladium," I don't know.

If I've got any of this wrong, I'll if I've made a bloomer, I could resign,
but that would be unfashionable.  Instead I'll blame Andrew Sholl,
"Bloomers, Biros and Wellington Boots."  Amelia Jenks Bloomer was an early
champion of women's rights which were not, obviously, a mistake.  The mode
of dress she invented was derided as such.
> David Ritchie
> Portland, Oregon
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