or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monday, June 20, 2005


After a week's respite, I'm back. Anyone miss me?

You really do learn something new every day. At least I do. I caught what I thought must surely be a typo in, of all places, The New Yorker, from this online piece:

"During the twenty-minute frenzy titled “The Grid”—crowds swirling, traffic churning, televisions flickering, hot dogs and Hostess Twinkies being exgurgitated from production lines—Glass and his musicians become manic machines, firing off notes like so many 0s and 1s."

"Exgurgitated"? I had only ever heard the word "egurgitated", and I thought, aha! So much for their vaunted style book, their fact-checkers and editors! But not so fast: it turns out, according to the OED, that "exgurgitate" is in fact a variant form of "egurgitate" (which means, in case the context wasn't clear, "to vomit forth".) "E-" and "ex-" are both prefixes from the Latin and mean, in this context, "out of": the opposite of "egurgitate" is, logically enough, "ingurgitate", "to eat", though the only context in which we ordinarily encounter the root of these words (from the Latin "gurgitare", "to flood") is "regurgitate", which ought to mean "to eat again" but which we may interpret as "to eat and then bring the food back". (That literal sense of "regurgitate" does have an application: it's what birds do when they bring up previously eaten and pre-digested food for their young.)


Blogger Frank said...

Missed you, pyramus! I was worried there for a while!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 1:09:00 AM  
Blogger Tony Pius said...

I was hoping that that was just a vacation or an attack of sloth, and not a repudiation of the blog concept.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 4:26:00 PM  
Blogger pyramus said...

Pure sloth. I don't give up that easily, but I found that after posting daily for a few months, I wanted a bit of a break, and the days went by more quickly than I had expected: a week off seemed like a nice compact number of days. I probably should have posted something to that effect, but that would have been posting during the break, so I didn't.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 11:02:00 PM  

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