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Monday: February 1, 2010

Acronymical Acrimony

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:54 PM GMT-0500

If FNMA is pronounced ‘Fannie Mae’ and FHLMC is pronounced ‘Freddie Mac’, shouldn’t IPCC be pronounced ‘Ipecac’? Reading about the IPCC and its chairman has much the same effect on me as drinking syrup of ipecac.

Quotation of the Day

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:17 PM GMT-0500

Like all artists when they are not looking merely outrageous, Onuphrius was very particular about his appearance. It was not that he dressed fashionably, but he always tried to give his lamentable selection of clothes a certain romantic dash, and a sense of style that escaped the everyday. He took as his model a fine Van Dyck portrait he had in his studio, and in fact the resemblance was almost uncanny. It was as if the picture had stepped out of its frame, or as though a mirror had been stood in front of it.

(Theophile Gautier, “The Painter”, in My Fantoms, translated by Richard Holmes)

I do not know why Holmes prefers ‘Fantoms’ to ‘Phantoms’ in the title of the collection and in the text. I am glad he changed the title of the story, since the French title is one of the worst ever devised: “Onuphrius Wphly, ou les Vexations Fantastiques d’un admirateur d’Hoffmann”.