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That edition

For all of those who over the years have bought one version or another of the (still so called) 25th Anniversary edition of Little, Big and who have come to doubt the eventual appearance of the edition (I have at times myself), here is a roundup of what has and what must yet happen.
Ron Drummond and John D. Berry have completed most of the elements of the work, whose ambitions were perhaps larger than the publisher foresaw. I can however attest to the fact that, in every important respect, those parts of the work they claimed to have completed they have indeed completed. The design and layout of the book was finished a year ago, on February 1, 2014, and they are satisfied with that design, and so am I.
What I can’t attest to is a date on which the project will be completed. Ron Drummond tells me that, in working with a candidate printer, they discovered that the digital treatments necessary to making the edition’s elaborate art reproductions print-worthy were more extensive than either he or John D. Berry had anticipated, and they were compelled to have those treatments executed by an outside contractor. That work has been ongoing since late last year, and when completed will make it possible at last to print the book.
I am not an investor, though I have been a frequent consultant in the making of the edition.  All I know, and all that I can say for sure, is that I’m confident Drummond and Berry are working to complete the project, with all that implies, in good faith.  


WHat is the term -- I believe descending from Calvinist theology -- that means unsaved or depraved or not among the elect, but that came to mean simply bad, immoral, resistant to correction?

Grammar whiz XIII

Pretend you didn't read this already and guess what you could add to it to make some kind of sense.  Rules as usual.

is going to go — is bomb throwing?


From the NY Times about the death of MAndy Rice-Davies: "The death of Mandy Rice-Davies, who played a starring role in one of Britain’s most salacious Cold War sex scandals, evoked more than a vicarious return to moments that defined their times."

This is the second time I've seen the Times use "salacious" in this way.  It's clearly wrong by standard definitions -- lascivious, lustful, lecherous -- or (of written or other work) arousing, sexually suggestive, dirty.  Has the definition changed?

Legal term query

Is there a legal term for the unnecessary law that bans or forbids something that either is never done or has long ceased to be done or can't be done?   Like a law passed forbidding Shariah law, or one that prevents developing time-travel capability?

Grammar whiz

With the usual rules and the usual note that I may well not have seen how obvious a solution would be.  This from the Times:

the court did either the law

Nov. 27th, 2014

NY Times:

Greek Navy Aids Disabled Ship With Hundreds of Migrants

You wonder what the migrants could do to help, and where the Greek Navy got them.

Dark composure

A new Microsoft product is called Lumia.  There is something Dark Ages about corporate uses of fake or dog-Latin to name their products.  Inevitably the tense, gender, spelling, part of speech or usage is wrong, sometimes all of these.  Lumia isn't Latin and Google Translate identifies it as a word in only one language:  Indonesian.  Of course they could have chosen Lumen, Latin for "light," but maybe they didn't think to look it up.  At some point in those ages the formula for the transubstantiation of the host into the body of Christ -- "Hoc est enim corpus meum" -- which the congregation heard whispered by the priest became "hocus pocus" with some muttered additions.
Wikipedia offers this delightful quote:  "I will speak of one man... that went about in King James his time... who called himself, The Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus, and so was he called, because that at the playing of every Trick, he used to say, Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo, a dark composure of words, to blinde the eyes of the beholders, to make his Trick pass the more currently without discovery, because when the eye and the ear of the beholder are both earnestly busied, the Trick is not so easily discovered, nor the Imposture discerned."
— Thomas Ady, A Candle in the Dark, 1656

Nov. 2nd, 2014

I just noticed that my bag of Lay's potato chips, in its description of the goodness of its product, says as a first claim that it is made from "farm-grown potaoes."  I haven't heard any news about vat-grown or hydroponic potatoes, so I imagine that the phrase just means "potatoes" -- though it gives rise to thoughts that Lay's does not intend, I think, for me to think.  I am reminded of a shampoo I examined once that said it was "made from ingredients found in nature itself!"  Which made me wish for something that wasn't.  What would THAT be like?


"Distaff" is a metonymy for the female side of a family (or society, I guess.)  What is the equivalent metonymy for the male side?