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

Wednesday, 2nd September 2015

Another OED quiz: identify the writer of whose each of the following was ‘a favourite word’:

  1. batful, adj. Of pasture-land: Good for the sustenance of flocks and herds; feeding, fattening; fertile in pasture.
  2. Dasein, n. In Hegelian philosophy: existence, determinate being.
  3. misrecollect, v. To be mistaken in one’s recollection; to have a wrong or imperfect recollection.
  4. pilcher, n. A term of abuse for: a person considered worthless, contemptible, or insignificant.
  5. swermer, n. A sectarian, fanatic.

Writers: Jeremy Bentham (philosopher, jurist, reformer), Michael Drayton (poet), John Fletcher (playwright), Johann Wolfgang Goethe (poet, dramatist, novelist), Martin Luther (theologian, founder of the German Reformation).


Answers placed overpage.

Pages: 1 2

Monday, 31st August 2015

Totes cray, n.

Pronunciation: /təʊts kreɪ/
Etymology: < tote n. + cray adj.

Large, crazy handbags or shoulder bags.

Sunday, 23rd August 2015

The Man, n.

Pronunciation: /ðə man/
Etymology: the adj. + man n.

A group or person in a position of authority over others, such as a corporate employer or the police. Not to be confused with da man in phr. you da man!

Saturday, 8th August 2015

Is UKIP, according to Orwell’s definition, a party of Tory anarchists?

Tory anarchist, n.

Pronunciation: /ˈtɔːri ˈanəkɪst/
Etymology: < Tory n. and adj. + anarchist n.

One who despises authority while disbelieving in liberty, and preserving the aristocratic outlook while seeing clearly that the existing aristocracy is degenerate and contemptible.

Friday, 7th August 2015

I’m prompted by a discussion on the Moral Maze with Galen Strawson to formulate a ‘free will or determinism’ version of Pascal’s wager:

‘Free will exists or it does not.’ But to which side shall we incline? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that free will exists. Let us estimate the two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing, because you could not have wagered otherwise. Wager then without hesitation that free will exists.


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