Once again I spoke too soon

On the menu.

I got back from my adventures this afternoon to learn from Danwei that blogspot and wikipedia had been unblocked. (Well, for the time being.) That’s definitely true of the latter, and another commenter on the Danwei article, who also lives in Chengdu, claimed that blogspot was open for business again. I can only assume that my ISP missed that memo because I’m still banging my head against the usual digital barricade.

I was off at the Foreign Languages Bookshop with Quincy, if you must know. Among other things, I found a copy of WW Skeat’s etymological dictionary which, though aged, remains a little more engaging than a typical modern etymological dictionary, which under the entry for whore would be unlikely to include a comment such as

¶Certainly not allied to hire!

He also included a list of doublets among which I note musket and mosquito, and prolong and purloin. Soprano and sovereign are also doublets. I assume that’s because sovereigns are inclined to scream and shout, thus inflicting pain on others – just like sopranos.

I first happened across Skeat’s dictionary in a bookshop perhaps about 25 years ago. Certainly it can’t have been too long after the 100th anniversary of the book’s publication. I suppose it was an age (the 19th century, that is, and not the 1980s) when it was still possible to publish books of a scholarly disposition which still had character in spite of their subject. I wonder if that’s possible today or whether books which have character get shelved under the general classification “Popular”.

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