- Oh what times! What Morals - Seen on a poster in Tangalle
- Leg Before Wicket
- Language Instinct
- Engaged citizenry deadline
- Nozbers; Alternative to Numbers (AP)
- Waves Thoughbers
Oh what times! What Morals! - Seen on a poster in Tangalle
Tangalle is in Sri Lanka and the whole country is festooned with these types of posters. Usually showing some MSGingly cloyingly cutesy scene; babies falling out of flower pots or dressed like fat giant bees. The accompanying strap line (in English) usually says something 'a child is a precious gift to defend against an unwholesome future' or some such nonsense - But Oh what times! What Morals is a quote from Cicero! Now 'Oh what times' is fair enough when looking back on a life or adventure or fulfillment but 'What Morals! seems as if one is criticising the present whilst saying wistfully 'Oh remember those times when we were so so moral, so poker stiff, judgmental and uptight. This seems like the pious boast said by someone you would have spent your Oh what times times trying to get away from.
Leg Before Wicket
This is the name of a very small,crowded cricket shop in Sri Lanka's teeming capital Colombo. Proof that just at the moment when you think that surely the laws of physics prevent anyone else from possibly working in such a confined space another smiley head will appear.
Simply a great word n'est pas?
A thoroughly recommended book by Stephen Pinker - I happen to have a signed copy - not through any queuing devotion but because a big pile of signed books were sitting on a table when I went to buy it. There is no dedication, just his signature. So really it looks like I have stolen his copy in which he deliberately wrote his name to prevent such theft from occurring.
Engaged citizenry deadline
A term from the French revolution. This note was to remind me to include the concept in another writing project. I came across it whilst ploughing through Simon Schama's book 'Citizens'. Anyone familiar with Mr Schama's work will know that when I say ploughing I mean by hand, in mid-Winter over a field of Basalt.
A Sri Lanka unit of currency the 500 Rupee notes is the equivalent of about two pounds and fifty pense in sterling. This is worth remembering before you end up in a embarrassingly post-colonial shouting match with a three wheeler driver who you are getting your Sarong in a twist because he has overcharged you by the local equivalent of twenty pence.
Dog biscuits - this was a a reminder to buy some for the pack of beach dogs who lived, patrolled and howled at solitary trespassing ants for three hours every night outside our room
Nozbers; Alternative to Numbers (AP)
Waves, Thoughbers, Wizes, Compa, Thumbers
Honestly gentle reader often on reflection I despair at the sheer scale of my hubris. These wierd words are all conceptual doodles as part of a huge ethical framework I have been working on that is / will be designed to replace the one we have. In less than three lines I was attempting to devise an entire system with the rigor and logic of Maths. Funnily enough the system under which I write such highly critical things is so kind and democratic that such obvious power mad ravings still do not make me ineligible to vote!