Has anyone else noticed how often that ‘outrage’ appears in newspaper and online news headlines these days?
I had to remind myself what it actually means, so often do I come across it:
When was the last time you were really outraged by something?
Semantic bleaching again – overuse a word and it ceases to have any impact.
I’m not providing examples and driving traffic toward any of them – you know who they are. But imagine spending three years to get a degree in journalism and then being constantly driven (or subbed) to turn every story into an example of outrage?
I simply love it when I stumble upon an interesting new word!
This one came about by accident when having a chat in my local hostelry. The day before I had been sitting at a table in the back, writing in my notebook. There was a sudden change in the atmosphere and I knew it was raining. The smell was unmistakable and a glance out of the window only confirmed what I already knew as the pour began.
A day or so later at the same venue, I was chatting with a good friend about music that she might like and remembered an album by Mortiis, The Smell of Rain, which had been a favourite of mine when it came out a few years ago.
I duly Googled the name but was met by the following revelation from Wikipedia as the first result:
Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek πέτρα petra, meaning “stone”, and ἰχώρ īchōr, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.
I love that something like this actually has a name – and one with such an exotic etymology too.
It looks like Classic Rock magazine, and my old favourite, Metal Hammer have been saved from closure. I still buy the former but haven’t bothered with the latter since the commemorative Lemmy issue. As a youngster, though, it was a big favourite.
All good news for rock and metal fans I’m sure, but they’ve already let loads of their staff go – will there be jobs for them I wonder?
Of minor concern in comparison is what I assume is from the press release from Future, the new owners:
“The acquisition of these classic rock brands with their associated magazines, events and websites marks a further step in our buy and build strategy […] it further reinforces our creation of a leading global specialist media platform with data at its heart, which we are monetising through diversified revenue streams. We look forward to developing further these iconic and much-loved brands and to continuing to serve their communities of dedicated enthusiasts around the world.”
It doesn’t even read as English, let alone rock ‘n’ roll: It’s the kind of dense and wanky media speak that I thought had died out back in the nineties with Gus Hedges and Drop the Dead Donkey.
Still, ‘rock on’ and all that…
A pub-lunch chat yesterday turned into a silly exploration of a name. We were talking about grandparents and I mentioned that my sons both have middle names after mine and my wife’s fathers and grandfathers.
My younger son has ‘Timothy’ as one of his names and I’ve always found it to be a strangely effete and middle-class name. Reminds me of Timothy Lumsden, the mummy’s boy from the 80s comedy, Sorry. The fact is though, that he was named after my wife’s grandfather who was a tough-as-nails farmer all his life, and the furthest thing from a mollycoddled suburbanite that you could imagine.
What might have made the difference, I suggested, was if his name had been ‘Timoth’ instead. Just dropping that semivowel ‘y’ somehow makes it sound much more rugged and masculine. I could image a ‘Timoth the Wanderer’ from the ancient legends, or a ‘Timoth Ragged-Beard’ of the Viking sagas. But putting the ‘y’ back just takes all the edge and romance out of the name.
Compare the two:
“And lo, the land was laid waste by Timoth the Despoiler, and there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
“And lo, the land was laid waste by Timothy the Despoiler, and there was much laughter and scratching of heads.”
It just doesn’t sound right does it…
EDIT: Younger son reckons that ‘Timoth’ would make a great name for a Scandinavian black metal band!
Attended An Evening with Alan Moore and Stewart Lee last evening – one of my favourite authors chatting to one of my favourite comedians.
Whereas Moore does sometimes come across as slightly curmudgeonly in interviews, this was a garrulous, light-hearted affair, mostly centred on his new novel, Jerusalem. I bought the book on release day, but it’s still on my ‘to read’ pile. After last night, I want to toss the Jonathan Franzen that I’m currently reading and dive straight in.
It’s common knowledge that Moore has walked away from many of the big titles that made his name, such as V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell etc. and refuses to engage with Hollywood’s interpretations of his work. What did surprise me though was his admission that The Killing Joke (my personal favourite comic book ever!) was just written for Brian Bolland (the artist). It seems that he did it as a favour, and that was where his investment ended. I had to admire his honesty, but it does make me see the story in a new light.
What was more interesting, was Moore’s philosophy and perception of time going so far as to quote Einstein on the lack of finality in a universe where time is non-linear. I’d thought that his views on magic might come across as a bit kooky, but it felt like being in the presence of a sage rather than a shaman.
A wonderful way to spend a cold winter’s evening in London.