or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I should apologize for Friday's dashed-off, virtually content-free posting, but I'm off work for a few days with a wrecked back, so I'm really not in top form. Anyway, it turns out that the word "empyrean" came to me because I was updating my iPod and there's a song in there by a group called Empyre 1. Stupid name, hey?


I have only just discovered this Canadian cartoonist named Kate Beaton, and honestly, you have to go to her site. You can lose an hour there, easy. A lot of her cartoons are on historical themes, and many of them are hilarious, including a two-parter about Napoleon eating cookies (the sort of thing where you can't really say why it's so funny--you just know it is), and this charming bit about the settlement of Newfoundland by the Vikings at about 1000 C.E.

(You can click on that cartoon to view it at a bigger, more readable size, or you can just read it in its natural habitat, a little more than two thirds of the way down the page, or just search for the word "complex" and you'll be taken there. I totally cribbed it from Beaton's site, of course, and Kate, if you should happen to be reading this, just say the word and I'll remove it, but I wanted to post it because I think you're a genius.)

I hate to criticize (in this case, I really do), but "summat" as a replacement for "something" doesn't seem right to me.

I don't want to say for sure that "summat" isn't used in Newfoundland; it's part of some British dialects, derived from "somewhat", and it certainly could have made its way to Newfoundland. But I've never heard it there, and it isn't in the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, either.

Newfoundlanders are much more likely to say "sump'n" for "something". I know I have.


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