The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Library Card

Wednesday, 22nd June 2016

Cllr Thomas Babington Macaulay has defended the decision by Leicestershire County Council to reduce its library service to a single shelf of books. Referring to campaigners against library closures, he said, ‘I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.’


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.

Monday, 3rd November 2014

Slang is ‘The special vocabulary used by any set of persons of a low or disreputable character’ (OED). Ironically for such a subject, the standard reference work is so costly that it’s beyond the reach even of persons of a middling and semi-reputable character (like me). I often want to consult Green’s Dictionary of Slang, but it’s not available on Oxford Reference Online with an ordinary library card subscription, and the cheapest copy currently on Amazon is £230.66. This is positively ‘dryfucking adj. (orig. US) infuriating, disappointing and other negatives, relevant to context. [(GDoS)] … Oxford Reference requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of titles within the service.’

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