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December 2, 2005

Dressing Down (and Sidewise)
Posted by John M. Ford at 03:50 AM *

I suddenly get the sense that my timing on this could not possibly be worse, but after much promising thereof, The Techstore has now been expanded to offer a much broader range of Imprinted Stuff for the existing designs (Harry of 5 Points, Infernokrusher, and Entropy Sonnet), with more Stuff in preparation. There have been a couple of design modifications — because of a request, most of the women’s shirts are now backprinted only. We’re working on a front emblem, but the current monogram, with the inscription me fecit, is out for reasons obvious to anyone with even a slight bit of Latin.

About sizing, we are unable to assist, but this is all more Gene Kelly than Fred Astaire tailoring anyway.

Comments on Dressing Down (and Sidewise):
#1 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 04:34 AM:


Eagerly awaiting the front monogram logo thingy, lest unwary readers misattribute the texts to some guy(s) named Marlowe.

#2 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 04:39 AM:

Well, the monogram is on the back, with the URL for people who Want To Know Where That Came From. But a, er, shirt pocket location didn't seem appropriate somehow.

#3 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 05:08 AM:

We’re working on a front emblem, but the current monogram, with the inscription me fecit, is out for reasons obvious to anyone with even a slight bit of Latin.

Oh, dang.

#4 ::: Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 05:47 AM:

I know I ought to know this stuff, but where are the texts for these? I know the entropy sonnet, but you can't tell from the pictures what are the words to the dungeon rules or the infernokrusher thing. This complicates decision making for those of us with geeky daughters as christmas approaches.

#5 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 06:20 AM:

"View Larger", select the side of interest, then "Zoom In" (at the bottom of the image).

Hmmm... not to make things (more) difficult, but it just seems unnatural to have the front completely blank, which also makes the shirt harder to identify when folded.

Gratuitous wardrobe management factoid: I fold my t-shirts into quarter-height bundles then stuff them into the drawer arranged upright like file folders; that way they're all visible at the same time, and the front design (if any) is generally visible for identification. It's not that I have an absolute objection to all frontal decor; it's just that reading sonnets tends to involve prolonged concentration....

#6 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 06:37 AM:

Eventually there will be a Website, on which these things will get First Runs. However.
The Infernokrusher parody originally ran on the eponymous thread, which I'm sure is searchable in the archives, but Here Goes Anyway:

Ro-Mo. Your windows are still mirrored; taunt me not,
But show your colors, dare to challenge me,
These lips are two shaped charges, primed and hot,
That wait the go-code for delivery.
J-Cap. The flag is to the deadly, not the loud,
Yet aim as well as posing show in this;
The worthy throwdown’s always to the proud,
And hammer down is how the hard girls kiss.
Ro-Mo. My draft is stopped; I struggle toward the clutch.
J-Cap. And would a charge of nitrous make thee run?
Ro-Mo. Too much; but what else is there but too much?
Let me take arms, and elevate the gun.
J-Cap. Small arms but hint what demolitions say.
Ro-Mo. Then, gunner, gimme one round.
J-Cap. On the way.

It has been suggested that one or two of those lines would also make good bumper stickers. . . .

And the other thing, which did not appear here:

Welcome To Ye Dungeon

Thys Be a Happy Plaice—Let Us XSwiveX Strive to Keepe Yt So

Ye Pryces Payeable Upon Entrie
Wizzardes 5s. (leave all Gold on ye Irone Counter)
Warriours 3s. (Barbarianns—thys bee Ye)
Clericks 1/6 (proofe of Sanctitie req’d)
Thiefes £5 (as iffe)
Flunkeys, Linkboyes, Bearers, Mules, &c. 6d.
Saucie Maydens, Crumpetts, Cheere-Leadres in Uniforme gratis
Orckes, Groupe Rayte 3s.
Unaccompany’d Orckes ye muste be kyddinge
Golems varyes with pH and volatillitie
Rattes gratis [strongge union]

Dayley Rates
Looteing 1d.
Looteing w/Pillageing 2d.
Seekeing Experience 3d.
Seekeing Enlightenement 5d.
Questeing, Non-Epicke 6d.
Questeing, Epicke 9d.
Vengeance Issues 1s.
Juste Lookeing Arounde 2s.
Loste Tyckett £10

Speciale Charges, per each
Plante Charmed 2d.
Doore Bashed 3d.
Rocke to Mudde Spelle 6d.
Misfyred Rocke to Mudde Spelle £1
Botched Ambuscade 9d.
Spelle of Masse Anythinge 1s.
Accidentes w/Golems 1s.
Conflagration 2s.
Indescribable Messes varyes by indescription

Of the other items, the apron will eventually go with the aforementioned website, which will be called "Mike's Café" after my namesake grandfather's diner, and the mug has the Lunar rail map from Growing up Weightless, which for various reasons didn't appear in the book but did, without spot color, with the relevant essay in the NESFA book. A matching cut 'n' fold ticket folder (about as basic as papercraft gets) is under construction and will go in the store shortly. The Warwick poster is what it is; the photo can be viewed considerably larger here.

And I appreciate your asking, and though I failed to say so, I very much appreciated the link. Thanks.

#7 ::: Mris ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 06:38 AM:

But a, er, shirt pocket location didn't seem appropriate somehow.

Thank you. When I was in college, we had physics department T-shirts one year that had a geek joke featuring a large Psi Star Psi with a prominent Psi per...let us say that we started using "Psi" as a euphemism after that. "Wouldja look at the Psis on that chick!" But the senior class had no women in it that year, so no one saw the problem until I walked into the senior office with my new T-shirt on and put my hands on my hips.

Also people, including professors who should have known that * is not a Greek letter, assumed it was for a sorority, which amused me.

#8 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 07:23 AM:

Saucie Maydens, Crumpetts, Cheere-Leadres in Uniforme gratis

Crumpets? Or strumpets?

There is a distinction. Crumpets are a sort of toasted cake best eaten hot with butter. Crumpet is a collective noun meaning 'the opposite sex as viewed for purposes of indecent shenanigans'. (One member of the opposite sex, viewed in this light, is referred to as a 'bit of crumpet'.)

Thus strumpets can be crumpet, but crumpet is not necessarily strumpets (crumpet could also consist of wenches, rogues, troubadours etc), nor are strumpets necessarily crumpet (you may regard the strumpets in a purely professional light, for example). Crumpets are certainly not crumpet, though strumpets (or crumpet) may on occasion be lured with crumpets.

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 08:55 AM:

me fecit...

Yes, that might send out the wrong message about the wearer. Either that or I've forgotten everything from my two years of Latin in high-school.

#10 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 09:30 AM:

I'm definitely planning on ordering some of these wonderful things (Growing Up Weightless is one of my favorite novels, and I love coffee mugs with seemingly official but nonexistent logos, maps, etc.).

I do wonder if the "Harry of Five Points" text may have lost a "u" somewhere along the way, though.... The Cafe Press image gives the fourth line as

To keep you otta French guys’ speaks and joints,

#11 ::: Christopher B. Wright ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 10:22 AM:

I feel really dumb, but doesn't me fecit mean "made in" or "I made it" or something like that? I'm not sure why that's inappropriate. Actually, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me at all... but Latin is not my forte.

#12 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 10:26 AM:

I think that 'me fecit' translates as 'do me'.

#13 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 10:34 AM:

Speaking as a woman with long hair, I'd like to put in a bid for women's shirts with logos/designs/messages on the front. If a long-haired person wears shirts with messages on the back, either the messages are overlooked or polite people ask her (or him) to move her hair, and impolite ones move it, not always gently, without asking.

#14 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 10:38 AM:

I feel really dumb, but doesn't me fecit mean "made in" or "I made it" or something like that? I'm not sure why that's inappropriate. Actually, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me at all... but Latin is not my forte.

The logo is actually -- if I'm reading the image correctly -- "me JMF fecit" (I think the curvy script is "JMF"), which would be "JMF made me." Which would look a bit, well, odd sitting on top of someone's breast.

(And for all I know, "me X fecit" might have had more salacious interpretations as well, just like the English word "make"... But my Latin is extremly rusty, and my high school class did not, alas, go into such details.)

#15 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 10:50 AM:

Literally, me fecit means something like "he built me", "he brought me about", "he caused me to come to being." Yes, you could translate it using "did" instead, but I don't think it had the connotation for the ancient Romans that it does for modern English speakers. (Of course, we're not writing this for ancient Romans. Also, keep in mind that the closest I've come to reading anything sexually suggestive in Latin is book 4 of the Aeneid and that was in high school. So for all I know, the Romans did use the verb suggestively like this.)

In any case, if we're going to go there, it sounds far dirtier if one uses the present tense rather than the perfect tense. (Or better yet, the present imperative.)

#16 ::: Victor ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 12:12 PM:

Yay! I see many Xmas presents in the near future! Yay!

#17 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 12:24 PM:

> The Warwick poster is what it is; the photo can be viewed considerably larger here.

As somebody who used to work in Warwick (I think you might be able to see my old office roof in that picture!), I should point out that the building in question is St. Mary's Church, not Warwick Cathedral as suggested by the title on that page. Warwick doesn't have a cathedral.

#18 ::: y ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 01:37 PM:

>the closest I've come to reading anything sexually suggestive in Latin is book 4 of the Aeneid and that was in high school.

Goodness, you must have missed Catullus entirely. I always had the impression that Latin was particularly suited for that purpose--in part from reading English translations of works in Italian, say, or Chinese, that would suddenly veer off into Latin for a short passage, for reasons never stated but apparent to those with any knowledge of the language.

As for the verb in question, the only relevant usage I see in


"In late Lat. facere cum aliqua = vivere cum aliqua, to live in matrimony, to be married, Inscr. Orell. 4646."

so in general I think the answer would be no.

#19 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 02:00 PM:

Goodness, you must have missed Catullus entirely.

As a matter of fact, that is the case. I've read Catullus in English, but not in Latin, unless listening Orff's Carmina Catulli counts. (But my listening comprehension has never been that great... in any language.)

#20 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 02:31 PM:

Corrections noted, apologies. Unfortunately, it's not possible to simply overwrite an image file, or to delete and replace it; one has to toss out all the Stuff and start over. The offending goods have been taken off view, should be back early this evening.

One wonders: erroneously printed stamps are, with a few exceptions, considered of extraordinary value as rarities. CafePress offers custom-image postage (at a considerable markup already over its value). Naah, never work.

And I'm pretty sure it will be possible, and even relatively easy, to add women's shirts with printing both sides while keeping the backprinted ones..

The Customer Service Department

#21 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 02:38 PM:

The definitive reference for the Latin you didn't learn from Vergil is The Latin Sexual Vocabulary by JN Adams. My first copy of it was stolen (borrowed and never returned) by my Catullus professor. My second copy was therefore never lent out. It's somewhere in my loft now, having entirely reformed my "I want to cuss without offending" vocabulary.

It is, despite the uses it is put to, a scholarly and clinically accurate work.

#22 ::: Ayse Sercan ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 02:57 PM:

abi, your use of "I want to cuss without offending" reminds me of a discussion I had with my English teacher in, I think, the seventh grade about a short story I had written. I thought she was going to chew me out about using the word "fuck" in there, but what she did was give me a very good explanation of how to use obscenities and profanities for maximum effect. "If you're going to offend somebody, be sure to try to offend the greatest audience possible."

I am sure she would have disapproved of cussing in obscure languages outside of certain academic circles as being undemocratic.

As for me fecit, I admit that the implications are lost on me, too. Maybe I have less than a "slight bit" of Latin.

#23 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 03:06 PM:


There are situations in my open-plan office where the only thing I want to hear me cussing is my computer. This is a private matter between the two of us, and my colleagues do not need to be dragged in.

This is different than my usual belief about insults and curses, which is that the best of them use only vernacular words that you could use in front of your granny. Subtlety is a virtue.

My usual avoidance of most of the commoner nouns and verbs also preserves their strength. The times I do use them, I make all the more impact because I am known not to swear.

In all cases, my goal is to offend the specific target while preserving in all others the illusion that I am not prone to swearing. That makes the offence all the greater when they are the target.

#24 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 03:09 PM:

I also note, lest we be accused of letting this thread drift, that when I am muttering in Latin at my computer, I am dressing it down.

#25 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 03:47 PM:

"look at the psis on that chick". . .

Nearly anything* can , of course, be turned into a euphemism. . .I remember a co-worker turning to me once after we passed a particularly attractive woman and saying with relish, "It's a NICE day."

*I know of only one single-entendre: "icepick lobotomy."

#26 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 04:45 PM:

ajay: Crumpets are certainly not crumpet

You stick to your pleasures, and we'll stick to ours. Consider one of the "jokes" in American Pie, or whether X's hamster got all the duct tape off yet....

#27 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2005, 05:25 PM:

Back in 1978 the Bishop Museum in Hawai'i put on an exhibit called "Artificial Curiosities." It showed a collection of artifacts from Oceania that had been acquired by numerous museums from around the world (if I'm remembering it correctly). The catalog had a black background with the words Artificial Curiosities and an image of one of the items on the front.

The t-shirt, on the other hand, had no image. Every woman who bought one of those t-shirts had to suffer all manner of odd looks.

#28 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2005, 04:22 AM:

As JC said, "me fecit" is "he made me". The imperative "do me" would be "fac me", which is even more unfortunate from an English-monolingual perspective.

#29 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2005, 06:54 AM:

'fac me'? Is THAT where Battlestar Galactica got its oft-heard expletive, especially in the new version? Nah. Probably just a coincidence.

#30 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2005, 08:27 AM:

Since we're speaking Latin here... How was the first season of Rome? It does look quite good, but it'll be cheaper to acquire the DVD set than to get HBO. Now, if someone could just get smart and adapt the Falco mystery novels for the small screen...

#31 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2005, 11:27 AM:

There is a TV-movie with Bryan Brown as Falco, titled "Age of Treason." It looks quite good, and Brown is fine in the part, but the script doesn't directly adapt one of Davis's stories (instead pulling bits fromt the first three, along with an original but not very good subplot about gladiators). It's one of those things where, having acquired a property, it was decided to hide that fact from anyone who might have been attracted to it. Worth a look if you notice it in the TV listings.

#32 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2005, 11:42 AM:

Oh, and re the Front Pocket Logo thing: Having used the Mike's Cafe logo as a fill-in (it's still there on a couple of the designs) there are now actual Front Pocket (and for those who like such things, some Large Front 'n' Center) Logos for the Dungeon Rules and Infernokrusher products. Many of the women's, and some of the men's, shirts are available with either a pocket-logo front or verse-both-sides. Indeed, there's a Dungeon Rules Executive Management golf shirt with just the front pocket logo. Probably too much variation, but we're trying to cover the bases.

#33 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2005, 11:48 AM:

I had heard of that Falco movie, Mike, but not that Bryan Brown was Falco. I don't know if he was right for the role, but I'd hold my judgment until I see him in action. One actor I'd like to see as Falco played the main character in the American version of Touching Evil.

I understand that Davis herself didn't care much for the movie. Did she much prefer the BBC Radio recent adaptations? I didn't catch them, but I am dubious if what I heard is true, that Helena Justina, Falco's significant other and daughter of a Senator, spoke with a cockney accent.

#34 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2005, 12:51 PM:

So much for my unexamined assumption that horrible english accent mistakes happen only in the US.

#35 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2005, 01:23 PM:

abi: I went, I saw, I clicked. And clicked again, when I saw the "people who bought that also bought these" list. And clicked again. You are responsible for my wish list growing by around $100 in the space of thirty seconds, curse you.

#36 ::: abi spots comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 03:48 PM:

With elderly soldier pals, he
Merited a statue of Scalzi.

(holding a sheep)

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