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November 19, 2003

As you know, Bob …
Posted by Teresa at 10:46 AM *

I have to quote this one. LanguageHat posted it in the Egoscanning comment thread, in the wake of Arthur Hlavaty’s remark that “I cast no first stones; I was egoscanning when the Web was a scientifictional dream.”

Ralph 4CR looked around in astonishment. “You mean… there are invisible beams all around us, carrying information to all parts of the globe, even as we speak?”

The Master of Communications turned towards him solemnly. “Yes,” he asseverated, “and the information is not carried whole, but is broken up into a myriad of infinitesimal packets, to be reassembled without fail when they reach their destination.”

“You astonish me,” breathed Ralph. “And this information is accessible to all?”

“It is,” nodded the Master. “The issues of the day are debated by all citizens, no matter where they may be located, and communication no longer waits on tides or weather.”

“And what are the great issues so decided?”

The Master cast a glance at the poll on his screen: Which Jedi Knight Are You? He looked severe. “I fear our issues would mean nothing to you across the great gulf of time you have traversed. You should go now and refresh yourself. We will speak later. You have much to learn. Vanna, show our young guest to his room.”

A lissome blonde appeared from behind a curtain and beckoned…
Comments on As you know, Bob ...:
#1 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2003, 03:57 PM:

Urm... Every other post now appears to be indented subsidary to this (delightful) one, and the sidebar has departed for another clime.

Could these events perhaps be related?

#2 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2003, 04:35 PM:

I think that deserves some kind of award: not for the content, although that's superb, but for managing to use the word 'asseverated' correctly.

(Amazing: an obscure word that Stephen Donaldson hasn't used to mean something completely different.)

#3 ::: language hat ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2003, 06:16 PM:

That's why they denominate me Language Hat!

And thanks, Teresa; it's nice to have one's scientifictional efforts appreciated. Now perhaps that Gernsback fellow will finally publish my "Captives of the Web"...

#4 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2003, 06:34 PM:

Stephen Donaldson's use of obscure words makes me suspect he writes using three thesauri and no dictionary.

But's it's nice to see "asseverated" for the first time.

#5 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2003, 07:02 PM:

"Now perhaps that Gernsback fellow will . . ."

About fourteen years back, I was walking around my employer's office building (Bi-County Boulevard, Farmingdale, NY) when I came across a door for . . . Gernsback Publications.

They were still around, publishing electronics hobby mags.

No idea if they're still around. I'd Google for the answer, but I actually prefer that they remain in a Schrodinger's-Cat-like indeterminate state.

#6 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2003, 11:37 PM:

Graydon, is the problem fixed now?

#7 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 12:45 AM:

What delighted me (and several other skiffy editors) about "asseverated" is that it's exactly the kind of saidbookism Gernsback would have used.

Nix, I'd give it a rasff award in a flash, only this isn't rasff.

#8 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 03:06 AM:

"What delighted me (and several other skiffy editors) about 'asseverated' is that it's exactly the kind of saidbookism Gernsback would have used," TNH opined.

"Nix, I'd give it a rasff award in a flash, only this isn't rasff," added
the plucky blogger, grinning raffishly.

(Rasff misses you.)

#9 ::: Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 04:02 AM:

"What is the muck on the food?" Ginger spat at the departing guard. "Parmesan!" grated Biggles.

#10 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 06:48 AM:

(Rasff misses you.)

What he said.

#11 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 09:02 AM:

Patrick --

Yup, fixed. Much appreciated.

#12 ::: language hat ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 11:43 AM:

In the unlikely event there's anyone reading this thread who's as ignorant as I about modern stefnal acronyms, here's what I got off Google:

RASFF, the rec.arts.sf.fandom Usenet newsgroup, has sometimes been described as an online con room party, with conversations having little to do with SF and much to do with bagels, cats, Jewish minutiae, and chocolate.

#13 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 02:57 PM:

KAM, I agree with you about Donaldson. The sentence that almost made me throw one of his books across the room was "The horses were almost prostrate upon their feet."

#14 ::: Joy Freeman ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 10:58 PM:

LH: Rasff didn't throw me, but stefnal has me korgged. Please define?

#15 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 11:06 PM:

stefnal is an abbreviation of "scientifictional".

#16 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2003, 11:39 PM:

Niwdog's Law:
Given sufficient time, any online conversation evolves into a discussion of Jewish minutiea. This does not terminate the discussion, and often leads to a rhetorical breakthrough or reinvigoration.

(On that note, jumping back a thread, Mormon Undies don't surprise me all that much. Undershirt-style tzittzit can be just as confusing to the unknowing (the number of times I've seen a well meaning nonjew -- or even a more-secular-than-I Jew -- helpfully point out that someone seemed to have loose threads... Well, its a high number)

#17 ::: James J Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2003, 12:41 AM:

So, BSD, these non-jews/more-secular-than-I-Jews are commenting on blogs now? Or is that Nu?

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Even larger type, with serifs

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