Jo the Bibliophile over at Another 52 Books has a lovely Bibliowords glossary for (mainly) crime fiction. Here’s an example: "Nested-doll story: A riddle inside a mystery wrapped in an enigma, or in other words: a story so full of mysteries framing other mysteries that frame yet more mysteries that they resemble a matrushka doll in their layered complexity."
Mind you, the reason for the glossary is because Jo received a complaint. I think it is a nerve for someone to complain on a blog about the blogger’s use of language. If one can’t do what one wants on one’s blog, what has the world come to (as I said to Minx when someone complained about her blog being black)? And second, it is great fun reading alien terminologies and deducing meaning and idiosyncrasies of language. I love the US idiom I have picked up over the years as a crime fiction fan. And only the other day I used the phrase "giving a bollocking" in a comment on Crossword Be-Bop blog, and noted that Douglas has picked up on it and is asking if this is commonly used vernacular. (Answer, yes.) I think us bloggers from different countries who are commenting on each other’s blogs have a lot to offer each other in this regard 😉 Mind you, Jo could have the last laugh — she is in Iceland.
Creative and evolving use of language is something to be enjoyed and savoured, or learned from (free-spiritedly or seriously), definitely not complained about. And I think it is bad manners to complain about someone’s use of language on their blog, or to comment adversely about how the blog is designed.
The excellent Richard Morrison has a great article in the Times today that lightened my journey at approximately Loughborough Junction. "I am staggering through the black mist that descends when a chap with more than half his life over realises that, had he never been born, the world would be exactly the same as it is now." Yes, he graduated from university 30 years ago this week. (Which puts him in my ballpark.)
The piece is about the uselessness of giving advice to your children: "No wonder that my children look irritated or bewildered when I offer them advice. My past is a foreign country to them, and my recollections of what worked or did’t work for me at 21 might as well be in a foreign language, so irrelevant is it to their world."
I highly recommend reading the whole article, it is lovely, full of witty, self-deprecating Morrisonisms. If it is behind a subscription wall by the time you click on the link, let me know via email or in the comments and I will email you a copy. In the meantime, I will share with you the last two paragraphs:
"But one piece of advice is surely always pertinent. It is Horace’s fine old exhortation: carpe Diem — seize the day. If I could reclaim every minute that I wasted in my youth, I could probably have half my life again. The trouble is that when you are 21 you don’t truly grasp the fact that such moments are not infinitely available. And by the time you have grasped it, the moments have flown. As Trotsky observed, old age is the most unexpected thing that happens to a man (apart from being hacked to death with an ice-axe, presumably). Tell me about it, Leon.
Still, if any of the people who were at university with me 30 years ago happen to be reading, could I just say this? If we haven’t seen each other since 1976, please don’t get in touch. Observing how old we all look will only depress me further." Quite, Richard.