Friday, January 12, 2007

Scattershot approach

Hey, have you heard the story of how Vlad the Impaler came by his catchy nickname? I hadn't before I read Flea's post today. Wow! He was wicked! I mean, really and truly wicked.

What's the etymology of that word, anyway? Apparently it's derived from wicca. Well, that's hardly fair to wiccans. Wick, on the other hand, grew out of the Old English wēoce. Sure do love the eo combo you see in Old English.

I'm rather fond of El Niño winters in the Midwest. It was mighty cold at the end of November and beginning of December, but it's mostly been, like, 35 to 50 degrees since then. A (wicked) cold snap is in store in a couple days, but I want my unseasonable mildness back pronto! A non-white Christmas was just fine with me, as are non-white Januaries and Februaries. If it's not El Niño but global warming, then I suppose I'm obligated to deplore the mild weather. Though it sure is nice not to have to scrape ice and snow off the car so often.

What happens when a winter is warm and moist? The plants get addlepated. I hear some snowdrops have already bloomed in the Chicago area. The daffodils are sprouting (and the imminent cold snap will probably freeze their poor tender buds and screw us out of a flowery spring). I could swear I've seen leaf buds on some trees. And our vinca minor in the front yard has at least one periwinkle blossom. In January!

Ben's got a school friend over for the afternoon—a third-grader he knows from the playground. David's mom is taking her aunt to the doctor, so I've got the boys here. I like hearing peals of laughter from the other room. Do you think I should check on that, though? What the hell is so funny? Uh oh. Now it's quiet. That can't be a good sign. It's nice to have Ben diverted by someone else so I can tend to this poor neglected blog for a bit.

Let me close with a question for you. Hmm, what'll it be? Okay: If history was going to give you a salient nickname à la Vlad the Impaler, what would it be?


Trope said...

Ugh, I'm really worried about that too! I'm also in Chicago, and we have our hyacinth leaves up, though there are no buds above ground yet so ours should be okay. I hope.

My nickname would probably be something less-than-attractive, like Liz the Fidgeter. Not that "the Impaler" is that attractive, but it does have a certain panache.

DoctorMama said...

But wait, first tell us what YOURS would be.

Orange said...

Orange the Corrector! (Never met a restaurant menu I couldn't take a red pen to.)

So, Flea's post that I linked to, about Vlad? She got a Romanian-born commenter who said the whole impalement business was hyped up by the anti-Vlad contingent, sort of a medieval Swift-boating.

Mignon said...

Mignon the Flatulent, by my detractors. And relatives.

Narya said...

Or a menu to which you couldn't take a red pen . . .

Yeah, I'd probably be Nenya the Picky.

My current favorite mistake was in a glossy fundraising brochure for my old boss's organzation. Leaving aside the concept of subject-verb agreement, with which the writers were apparently unfamiliar, someone thought that "theirs" needed an apostrophe. Because it's a possessive, don't you know. So there's their brochure, for which I'm sure they paid lots of money, with "their's" in it. Feh.

And you're right; don't even get me started on restaurant menus.

Jay said...

Oh, I wish I could have taken a red pen to a paragraph that appeared in our school district newsletter. It was *awful*. I was ranting to my husband about it, since I assumed it was written by the people who will be teaching my daughter how to write. He pointed out that the offending document was probably written by someone outside the district, hired for the purpose.

Um, is that supposed to make be feel better? 'cause it's not working.

And I'd be Jenni the noodger (not nudger, which is physical, as opposed to the annoying-reminder-type noodger)

Jenni, sure she has committed at least three grammatical errors, as in every post I write complaining about grammar

Mona Buonanotte said...

Mona the Indecisive.

(This was after typing 23 different other things I could be called.)

JT said...

Orange, the rule with multiple boys is if they have their pants on and nobody's bleeding, let well enough alone.

(gleaned from sad, sad experience)
- JT the Whiner