Three random bits

I once made up the faux-Spanish “en spagaat” for what happens when you’re getting out of a shower and on a slippery floor — the feet go their separate directions, the center of mass descends, and then groin pain. Here the faux formation leans on a split (the gymnastics move) being called a spagaatti in Finnish, and being a general colloquial term for any gymnastic move you pull when the floor hates you. (“Veditk√∂ spagaatin/spagaatit?” is the usual question when you tell how you walked on this slippery ice or wet floor: “Did you pull a split/splits?”)

Now, I put it into Google Translate just for larks and told it to detect a language, and it told me “en spagaat” is “and splits!” in Dutch.

*

I hate the word “comprehensive”. It’s one of those words that book titles always misuse, much like “definitive” and “complete”.

A Complete Book of… I don’t even. (Literalism like mine is stupid… well, not exactly stupid as such, but ill-advised… no, wait, that’s not the exactly best word…)

A Comprehensive Guide to… I don’t think so.

McBoob’s book is the definitive opus on the grooming of cats… do you mean “supplying a final settlement”, which in our continued absence of cyborg cats is outright impossible? Or “of recognized authority”? Or did you settle for “clearly defined”, given that authority hasn’t been doled out yet?

Yup, it seems “clearly defined” is what applies in most instances.

McBoob’s book is a clearly defined opus on the grooming of cats: it has a front cover and a back cover, and all the pages are in between.

*

Greta Christina’s looking for a secular alternative to the phrase “preaching to the choir”: spaking the good word to the “wrong” audience, or anyway the audience that least needs to hear it.

I don’t have anything to contribute — when I come up with expressions, they tend to cause irritation and itching with prolonged use — but that got me thinking.

Even as a religious turn of phrase, there’s something wrong with “preaching to the choir”. As I understand it, the choir is this cluster of people off to one side of the chapel, certainly not in the same direction from the preacher as the audience, the ordinary church-goers, are. If the preacher’s preaching to the choir, the real audience gets a side profile of him, and ends up listening like children when some other captive audience is addressed.

Preaching to the choir… am I having the wrong floorplan here, or does that make as much sense as “telling your husband the kid’s ordinances”, or “reading the news to the weatherman”?

Ha, that’s a good one.

“It’s no use, Bob. You’re reading the news to the weatherman. Let it be.”

“But such news! Such a weatherman!”

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