The language I have learnt these forty years, my native English, now I must forgo; and now my tongue’s use is to me no more than an unstringèd viol or a harp, or like a cunning instrument cased up, or, being open, put into his hands that knows no touch to tune the harmony. Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue, doubly portcullised with my teeth and lips, and dull unfeeling barren ignorance is made my jailor to attend on me.

Another garden path

Another garden path sentence, this one from a TechCrunch headline: Did unicorns like Lyft and Uber wait too long? I misread the first several words of that as asking about how unicorns feel about ridesharing companies.


Best new-to-me words I encountered today, in very different contexts: Lappity-toppity box: apparently means “laptop.” Oasty toasty warm: apparently means “very warm.”


I was vaguely aware of the word struthious as relating to ostriches, but I don’t think I had previously encountered it used metaphorically. Damon Knight, in his essay in Clarion II, wrote: Wollheim alludes to this episode in a typically struthious way[…] From context, I’m assuming that Knight meant that Wollheim had his head in […]

Anticipating a rhyme

Leon Rosselson's song “Flying High, Flying Free” came on, and I don’t know the song, so at the end of these lines: Butterfly, dragonfly, salmon and seal, whale and reindeer, cuckoo and eel, each of them doing the migration dance I just naturally assumed that the next line would be: and I’d do it too […]