Wordplay 3/4/22

Particularly universal

[Wendell Berry’s] message is universal (as all particularism is.)

Paul Kingsnorth. Also:

[L]eft and right are much less meaningful divisions than landed and landless.

Sudden-onset Tourette’s Syndrome

Coprolalia, a primary symptom of Tourette’s Syndrom, etymologically must mean "shit talk" (as coprophagia means shit-eating) even if it doesn’t fit the modern usage of "shit-talkin’".

As an aside, I return to one of my obsessive questions: why can some types admit that there is some social contagion going on in sudden-onset adolescent Tourette’s but brand as transphobic (a neologism that has become the insult-of-choice among brain-dead progressives) anyone who notes the social contagion going on in sudden-onset gender dysphoria in adolescent girls?


  • Anagnorisis is that moment of recognition when a character in a play finally understands their predicament and who they really are. It is Shakespeare’s Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII realizing that he has “ventured … this many summers in a sea of glory, But far beyond my depth,” or Richard II saying, “I have wasted time and now doth time waste me.” It happens in war all the time, and it is happening now as Russia pushes forward with its invasion of Ukraine.

Eliot A. Cohen, ‌Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man

Devil’s dictionary redux

A journalist is someone who believes that any closet may contain a minister who is canoodling with the organist.

Garrison Keillor


Ambivalence: the feeling I get when yet another crime is caught on a security camera, and thereby solved, but then it dawns on me again that we’re living in a …

Crowd-Sourced Panopticon or close to it.

Golden Bridge

A Golden Bridge, from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, is akin to a metaphorical "off ramp" whereby an adversary can retreat but save face. (H/T Damon Linker)

Phrase of the moment

"Unspeakable human suffering." I thought it was becoming hackneyed, and perhaps it is, but I can think of no better pithy phrase. Ineffable has connotations too different from unspeakable.

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