The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell


I am the WEBMASTER, and it is I who will be presenting to you, READER, the private journal of Donald Pincher, aspiring author. How I came to be possessed of it is no concern of yours. And in any case, if I did go about to tell you by what accident I obtained covert access to the file, it would in this unbelieving age pass for little more than the cant or jargon of the blogosphere. Suffice it to say that he types Journal.doc on his computer (Windows ME) and, in his careless cyber-luddism, has left open a pathway vulnerable to exploitation by those of us who know the ways of data capture. Pincher is a pious, small-c-conservative young fogey of the leftmost wing. He lives unfashionably in the London district of Forest Hill SE23, and devotes his life to writing entries in his Oxford Urban Dictionary, trying to find someone willing to publish his novel – five-hundred pages of relentless socialist manifesto masquerading as literature – and to being fruitlessly apoplectic about the price of things in the capital. A privacy obsessive, much of his novel consists of (in equal measure) decrying the dangers of the Internet age, and mocking its pretentions. Which is why I thought it would be funny for him to write his own blog, even if it is one that he doesn’t know he’s writing. Though the automatic-upload macro I’ve attached to Pincher’s journal makes me something of a deistical Prime Mover, I will occasionally deign to intervene in ‘the cool of the day’ (to footnote, to hyperlink, to tag, or otherwise curate). To this end you will know me by my dark-blue font. Without further ado, I present to you what I’ve chosen to dub, in the idiom of its unwitting BLOGGER, The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

Saturday, 30th January 2016

On ID’ing: the idea is that you shouldn’t be able to buy booze until you’re eighteen regardless of how you look. But what’s wrong with a seventeen-year-old who’s developed enough to look twenty-two being served and a seventeen-year-old who looks seventeen being turned away? The age you look is probably as good an indicator of how ready you are for alcohol as is the age you actually are.

Sunday, 24th January 2016

I think it’s time for scented candles to have their organic, artisan moment:

Tallow: the Original Scented Candle

Saturate your house with the foul, acrid odour of burning tallow. Made to a heritage recipe including fat obtained from around the kidneys of ruminating animals such as the sheep and ox, hand-separated by melting and clarifying from the membranes.

Available now at Harrods and Liberty.

Saturday, 23rd January 2016

The list of words coined by George Bernard Shaw is impressive. Under ‘B’ alone are bardolatry, blackout, Botticellian. Further down the list I find a string of unfamiliar terms apparently relating to shaving. As the originator of the hipster beard, I assume Shaw was critical of the unnatural and artificial custom. For some reason my library card number isn’t working on the OED website this morning so I can’t look the words up. Below are my educated guesses as to their definitions:

  • Shavian (adj.): (derogatory) Relating to the practice of shaving; characteristic of or resembling one who shaves.
  • Shavian (n.): (derogatory) A man who shaves his face; a shaver.
  • Shaviana: (derogatory) Paraphernalia used for shaving (brush, foam, etc.).
  • Shavianism: (derogatory) A tenet or characteristic saying of shavians.
  • Shavianismus: (derogatory) A nonce-word relating to shaving or shaviana.
  • Shavianity: (derogatory) The quality or state of being shavian.
  • Shavianised: (derogatory) That has been rendered shavian in character, i.e. has been shaved.

Saturday, 16th January 2016

On the side of a bus I see an advert for rice. It asks, ‘Got enough turkey to last ‘till Easter?’

How can a piece of text that’s been scrutinised for weeks or months by dozens of graduates and is going to be printed in very large font on thousands of posters manage to combine two schoolboy errors in the rendering of a single word?

Till or until. One or the other, not both.

Sunday, 10th January 2016

I never thought I would see the day! An example of RAS Syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome Syndrome) in an OED definition:

Baker day, n.
Any of several days in the state school year set aside for INSET training.


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