Monday, 17 June 2013

Siete voi qui...?

This morning's 'Start the Week' dealt with dystopias (not 'Dis topias' as I once thought – with an eye on Dante's Infernal City. And, on the subject of supposed etymologies, I got 'dystopia' right by a supposed antithesis to 'έυ topia', as though Sir Thomas More's Utopia had been a place where all things were well and all manner of things would be well (to repurpose Dame Julian of Norwich's words by giving her syntax a tweak). Error on error! Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia' was a 'not place' (όυ...), not a 'well place'.

So, in summary, the contrast between a utopia and a dystopia is not a 'good, well' place versus a 'Dis-like place, but just 'not place' versus 'bad, ill, abnormal place' – not a very  satisfactory contrast; not nearly as good as 'good, well' versus 'bad, ill, abnormal' –  as in the case of 'euphemism' versus 'dysphemism' ('pass away' versus 'fall off the perch') . But the language is more about what happens rather than what should happen in an elegant world.

But I must cut this short. I must be getting on with #WVGTbook.


PS And if you got the Ser Brunetto reference in my subject line, take a team point; double points if you both spotted it and realized that I'd put the old bugger in the wrong circle of the Inferno!
And on the subject of old buggers, has anyone else noticed the recent ramping up of televised sex? In the attempt to épater le bourgeois it used to be that '...a glimpse of stocking/Was thought of as something shocking'. Then more and more explicit treatment of the Missionary Position became the norm. The latest 'advance' in the Grandmother's Footsteps-like game of 'How much can we get away with?' is, as my old drinking mate (well, fellow student) Steve Segaller† put it 'Anal entry, my dear Watson'. It started with the Politician's Husband, closely followed by The Americans (in the first episode of which it happened twice – once in a rape (message: 'This is Not Good') and once during an illicit affair (message: ... :-? 'What can we do to keep the viewers interested?'). What's the next step? 'Now Heaven knows/Anything goes' – in a race to the ... erm.

Update 2013.06.17.11:03 Small tweak.
Update 2013.06.18.10:45 Added PPS.
Update 2013.06.19.11:55Added PPPS.

 PPPS †Maybe not quite an ale knight (with thanks to OED's word of the day; for more such gems follow @OED) but certainly an ale squire.

Update 2013.09.30.11:05
Header updated:

 Mammon (When Vowels Get Together V4.0: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs – AA-AU, EA-EU, and  IA-IU, and – new for V4.0 – OA-OU.  If you buy it, contact  @WVGTbook on Twitter and I'll alert you to free downloads of the forthcoming volumes; or click the Following button at the foot of this page.)
And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: nearly 32,400 views**,  and  4,400 downloads to date. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with 1570 views/700 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.

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