the roots of english hoplophobia

Carrying a revolver is a fad, just a fad or a fashion; but the revolvers are mighty harmless. Of course there are desperadoes on the frontier, but that is the only part of the world they live in. Their deeds give a false character to their district. I have carried a revolver; lots of us do, but they are the most innocent things in the world.
MARK TWAIN PUT TO THE QUESTION, ADELAIDE South Australian Register, OCTOBER 14, 1895, in Mark Twain Speaks for Himself, edited by Paul Fatout, Purdue University Press, 1997, p. 152

Continue reading the roots of english hoplophobia

“we are unconcerned”

For all its lexical wealth, English lacks pithy counterparts to the French “je-m’en-foutisme” and the opposite-but-equal Italian “menefreghismo”, let alone the nonpareil Russian “похуй”. The best we can do is wax prolix: “I just don’t give a fuck!”

And yet, if Tom Stoppard is to be believed, high marks for good breeding accrue among the English upper classes with credit for one’s unconcern. (See Arcadia, Act One, Scene Four.) Surely there is no shortage of his fellow public schoolboys around these parts, to generate a proper Englishing of this Russian proto-rap: «Умер Максим—ну и хуй с ним; положили в гроб—мать его ёб.» [Maksim died—and the prick with him; laid in a coffin—fuck his mother.] Any ideas?

Crossposted to [info]larvatus, [info]linguaphiles, and [info]ru_translate.


We lost Maxim—well, fuck him.
We’ll bury him this week—[that motherfucking prick/his mom can suck my dick].

Courtesy of [info]pawnchow.

looking for loopholes

        (Fortune Theatre, London, 1961)

    Yes, I could have been a judge but I never had the Latin, never had the Latin for the judging. I just never had sufficient of it to get through the rigorous judging exams. They’re noted for their rigour. People came staggering out saying ‘My God, what a rigorous exam’—and so I became a miner instead. A coal miner. I managed to get through the mining exams—they’re not very rigorous. They only ask one question. They say ‘Who are you?’, and I got 75% for that. Continue reading looking for loopholes