Friday, March 31, 2006


Recently, (on Tuesday March 21 at approximately 6:30 pm e.s.t.) a random generation of letters needed to verify my entry into the world of gmail provided me (and thus, the World) with a new term: Imptit.

The meaning should be obvious but for those of you who need it:

Imptit: (noun) a person whose mischievous nature or acts of "deviltry", whether intended or accidental results in the need to call them by some epithetical name such as "tit".

NOTE: If the person or acts thereof, demand usage of a stonger epithet, then the usage of imptit may be modified by prefacing its employ with a string of the most vile, specific and descriptive profanities readily available. In such case be warned, "Imptit" must be the final word in the declarative and will, by its very nature, qualify or "soften" the entirety of the sentence to little more than a linguistic "rolling of the eyes".

NOTE 2: If this is not the desired effect, we (meaning I) suggest starting with the words "What the fuck is wrong with you, you great blistering fuckwad..." and see where that takes you.

Shortly after I, Todd (Long May We Praise His Name) McGinnis, introduced this term to the World, little Billy Poulin wrote to ask me this question:

Is calling someone a "little imptit" redundant? Does imptit imply little?

-- Bill Poulin

Adorable little scamp, isn't he?

Anyway, to answer your question Billy...

Yes, I think this constitutes fair usage.

While descriptors such as "little, minor, lesser or diminutive" or variants thereof are always present in definitions of the word "imp", I do not believe them to be, in the strictest sense, integral, to the definition.

Rather, this inclusion of an imp's (supposed) physical stature is, I believe, a throwback to a time when people lived in a world where they were (or at least considered that they were) more likely to actually encounter supernatural creatures of all kinds. Thus, the inclusion of generalizations as to the physical stature and appearance of such beings was seen to be helpful in the identification of beings which might choose to "visit" from the realms of "faerie".

These days however, no one believes a word of it.

More to the point, as everyone knows, the encroachment of humanity into groves, dells, dales, and hollows of pretty much every variety throughout the industrial revolution and on through the 20th century more or less annihilated the natural habitat of the imp.

Fortunately, as beings of "faerie", the imp's capacity to exist in non-corporeal states served them well and they now reside almost exclusively in Windows-based software and in the minds of pimply-faced teenage boys who somehow think that writing a virus is in any way going to get them laid.

Therefore Bill, as the "little" aspect of impishness is no longer, strictly speaking, either necessary --let alone 'politically correct'-- I think it is safe to conclude that the potentially percieved redundancy inherit to the expression "little imptit" is not sufficiently grounded in current usage to undermine the effect of such employment of the term.

Needless to say, the superficial "seeming" redundancy also lends the term a wealth of options for both intention in the (largely metaphorical) hands of an advanced speaker.

Children, politicians and other beings of diminished mental capacity should not attempt these kinds of advanced linguisitic parlour tricks unless they have a firm grounding in the audio-only recorded works of Monty Python or have read my essay entitled:

"So... You're An Imbecile"
You Were Born After 1974 Which, Odds Are, Amounts To The Same Thing.
(Not That It's Your Fault Really. By The Time You Realized You Were Being Indoctrinated Into The Church Of Moron It Was Too Late. Your Neural Pathways Were Pretty Much A Mess Of Connections With All Roads Leading To Fast-Food, Video-Games, Pornography And The Sort Of Oblivious Narcissism That Makes You A Danger To The Very Concept Of "Social"... As In: Shut The HELL UP!!! And Turn Off That GOD DAMN CELL PHONE!!! You're In A Movie Theatre You Ignorant F*CK!!!" )

by Todd (Long May We Praise His Name) McGinnis

So there you go Billy. Hope this was helpful. Happy "little imptit"-ing!

P.S. I haven't written the essay yet. I'm still working on the chapter titles so I'm afraid a lot of you are S.O.O.L. there too.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Stuff I inflicted on Rob's Blog 2: This time it's personal... nothing bad. Just personal

Rob had this to say about blogging...

Which inspired...

Those who worry about blogging are entirely justified insofar as this:

Too much of anything isn't good for you.

Put another way, I steal (and diminish) some cool Marillion lyrics by citing them out of context here but this is the relevant bit:

We rejoice at being "connected"
Without touching
Thank god for the internet
We stare at our screens
All our lives
What a waste of eyes
'Till the electrical storm blows our fuses
And we gaze, dumbfounded, at the rain

I think this is the big fear.

The loss of humanity and worldly awareness and experience in favour of what...?

Well... that's the question isn't it?

What is all this?

Democracy in action? A new kind of community in embryo?

Or is it just the collective and perhaps increasing, inwardly-directed focus of countless lives, countless hours of thought, passion, rage that might better be expressed through action in the "real world".

Or would it?

Rob wrote..."no other medium in history has ever offered so many people the means to share their views with such a wide audience, and with such amazing speed. And yes, some of it is going to be crap; in a mass medium, you should expect no less."

But we do have a direct parallel...

According to James Burke, the combination of Gutenberg's press with Martin Luther's annoyance on the particular issue of Papal Indulgences set off the firestorm that forced his hand to action and Reformation from/against the Catholic church.


Because Martin Luther was writing letters on a point [of Church policy. and got into] ... kind of a medieval flame war, except of course no one ever thought in those days... "what if instead of the 4 or 5 people who are supposed to read this [a lot MORE people] actually DO [end up] read[ing] it?"

[Or even...]

"What would happen if [someone printed a bunch of copies of the letter, 'cause that just became easy to do thanks to the printing press, and then say] 100 people read my letter instead of just one?"

Well, that's what happened.

[Word of Martin Luthor's gripe with the church spread faster than news ever had before.]

And [then] German lords with axes of their own to grind, jumped into the flame war publishing their thoughts for/against Martin Luther, or the Church or...

And thus the fracturing of the "greatest" church in history. (Not sneering with the quote marks there by the way, just conditionalizing.)

Anyhoo... if you check out my (yes, long-winded) comments on Rob's "Good Question" post, which was in answer to a not quite so long-winded question (from me as well) you'll see what I think is blogging's greatest use...

It is a tool that allows like minds to connect across distance and share ideas and opinions... or maybe for people just to share the fact that we're people.

That we think and feel things and that occasionally what we want is just to say ---and I mean really say, fully and without interruption-- whatever is on our hearts or minds.

We can take as many or few words as we want to but in the end, having expressed fully, we get to feel that in some way we've actually been heard in full.

In a society that does everything fast, perhaps this return to the (no matter how you slice it) much SLOWER written form will do us good.

By the by... the geniuses... the Einsteins and Bohrs, Newtons etc... They only had letters to communicate with their peers... if they had/knew about/could contact their peers.

Imagine the connections they could have made with email... or blogs.

Right now folks, men and women of equal (and no doubt even greater genius) are standing on the shoulders of those giants and are able to compare notes at light speed.

Surely some great good will come of that.

Just remember to get the hell outdoors once in a while (unless your Bill) and actually experience the world all this exchange of words is ABOUT.

Oh... and run your fingers over a loved one at least as often as you do over the keyboard.

Good night and may your gods go with you.


3:12 AM

Stuff I Inflicted on Rob's Blog

Lately whenever I do this I find myself ranting or philosophising away on other folks blogs. Then I have no time to create content for my own.

Let me borrow a few of my own words back by way of making amends for inconsistent output here. (It'll make me feel better anyway.)

On Rob's excellent and thought-provoking political blog Take Off, eh? He had posted the following about Canadian politcal apathy:

I sent this by way of reply:

Or is anyone interested at all?

Is it possible there's something more fundamental behind our collective yawning?

These guys... that Canada's embarrassingly low voter turnout isn't because Canadians are lazy and apathetic (my favourite justification for everything that I can't be bothered to think about)

Rather, they suggest that Canadian's are acutely aware... if only intuitively... that their vote doesn't really count for anything.

Is this true?

Are these folks crazy?

Should I stop asking questions?

Will Ashley tell Jordan she's carrying Kyle's baby?

Why doesn't Kyle carry his own 11 month old infant?

Sorry... got off track for a minute there.

My point is... should we all be fighting for this kind of reform?

Or would that be stupid?

I know Rob knows more about politics than I do because... well, everyone does.

So I'm interested to hear what he has to say.

His reply is here.

All this got me to thinking about something else which I also posted on Rob's blog. But I'll post it separately.


That's right!

Gaze to the right... now scroll down (or up once I've made more posts)...


There you are... a list of blogs by people that I know (odds are VERY high that you're one of them).

I created the links and figured out how to get the names to show up and everything.

It's a banner day as I achieve the exalted state of quasi-competent in yet another field of endeavor.

Hooray for me.