Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Interlude: Amusing Emails...

Joseph Ducreux, Self-Portrait (Laughter) (Late 1780s)
(Borrowed from Wikipedia)

Due to my blog, the listserves that I belong to, and my accumulating years, I seem to have made the acquaintance of a goodly number of people and thus receive a goodly number of daily emails.

Some of these are amusing, for me ... and might also be for you.

One email this morning comes from Ken Askew, who has read my recent blog about his apotheosis but thinks that I should blog more about myself:

You should blog about riding your bicycle to Baylor from Arkansas, and then living behind an air-conditioning grate in your honors cubicle in the library. That second part's probably not true, but it makes a swell story. And doing one-armed push-ups while reading Jaspers.
All three of these would make swell stories. Maybe I will blog on them, but I'll have to use a lot of imagination for the one about living behind an air-conditioning grate in the library since ... not to put too fine a point on it ... that particular story isn't literally true.

But I might have managed a one-armed push-up once in a while back in my prideful youth. If I did it while reading Jaspers, then that must have been during my one of my bouts of exerstential angst.

Meanwhile, from the Milton listserve to which I belong comes an emailed note posted by Professor Derek N.C. Wood (St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia), who tells us that one of the students taking his course on Milton's Paradise Lost wrote the following in an interpretive essay:

"Adam's sin was pride. Mind you, I thought God was pretty arrogant, too."

All that's missing is the tacked-on acronym "IMHO." This student has been reading either too much or too little literary criticism by William Empson! But where is this Nova Scotian place "Antigonish"? And what do its inhabitants have against "Gonish"?

I've also been receiving -- in my spam box -- the occasional email from one or another self-described "shameless hussy." I've been afraid to open these emails. They might be from old girlfriends! If so, these ladies must surely be a little bit married by now, for I see that according to The Free Dictionary, the word "hussy" is an "alteration of Middle English houswif, housewife." Middle English, eh? Sounds rather like these hussies "gonna get medieval" on my aspiration of letting bygones be bygones, so I make sure to delete their messages immediately.

Speaking of blue messages, I have one from the Blue Cord Bible Dictionary suggesting that as one of the many "scholars in biblical studies and related fields" who belong to a number of the scholarly Bible listserves, I might want to consider contributing to this "dictionary (in wiki style) [to ensure that it] not be beset by the ignorance that plagues other online dictionaries." Well, as anyone reading my blog knows, I have only the highest of professional standards, so this "Blue Cord" solicitation has obviously reached the right man. Unfortunately for them, my standards are so extraordinarily high that I decline to join any organization that would solicit my services.

Sorry to end this otherwise amusing interlude sounding like a bit of a grouch, but duties call...


At 10:47 AM, Blogger steph said...

With the glasses, we can expect a pop quiz!

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

On no, one of those will be unexpected.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:02 PM, Blogger steph said...

but but but .... you're sounding like the grouch(o) - with glasses?

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I don't see any Groucho Glasses on my alter ego Mr. Ducreux. He's just standing there pointing and laughing.

Now, if I just knew how to photoshop...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

"Ducreux" is an interesting surname. One possible meaning is "from the hollow."


At 10:32 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

So, "creux" means "hollow"?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

P.S. Is it related to "crevice"?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

Yes; it's both noun and adjective.

"Une assiette creuse" is a shallow soup dish: literally, a hollow plate.

As for being related to "crevice"... hm. I'm not sure. That's a distinct possibility, though.

The French word for "crevice" is "crevasse," a word we also use in English. Checking with EtymOnline, I see this entry for "crevice":

c.1340, from O.Fr. crevace, from V.L. *crepacea, from L. crepare "to crack, creak," meaning shifted from the sound of breaking to the resulting fissure.

EtymOnline doesn't have "crevasse" in its list. Too bad.



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