Monthly Archives: August 2013

NSFW: The Merkin

While this article is not entirely NSFW, this Wikipedia link does somewhat qualify.
Yeah, I know, it’s pink!

I am fascinated by words, and although my English vocabulary is not as vast as I would like it to be, I sometimes like to challenge native speakers to a game of “tell me a word I haven’t heard before”. My winning combo: merkin, stolid, inculcate; with merkin at the top of the list.

I have discovered this wonderful word in Tom Sharpe’s Ancestral Vices a couple of years ago, and it was one of those rare discoveries that sweep you off your feet and set your mind racing madly into the most unusual directions.

To begin with, this deceptively simple word captures the whiffy spirit of an age when a lack of hygiene and a surplus of bashfulness made its establishment a necessity.

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The Kakapo

If you have made it as far as the second chapter of The Scriptlings, then you might have stumbled upon a rather unusual reference to something called a kakapo.

“What is it?” you might ask. It doesn’t sound like something you would eat, drink or smoke; and it certainly doesn’t sound like something you would rub your bald scalp with, as Master Dung claims to have done. If anything, it sounds more like baby talk for going number two.

Well, maybe this would help clarify matters:

I have first learned of the kakapo in “Last Chance to See”, which is probably my favorite Douglas Adams project. You can get the paperback edition here, and the Kindle edition here. If you’re looking for a real treat, then I would definitely recommend the audiobook, read by the man himself – but I can’t find a good link, and sending you to a torrent just wouldn’t be kosher, eh?

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In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett

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