Monday, December 23, 2013

Everywhere man is born free and everywhere man is snarked

You know that your professional life has taken a turn for the better when people will pay to see your drawings of The Banker, AKA Karl Marx, vamping his way through the British Raj in blackface (or brownface, to be precise). But I digress …

This stanzel is jam-packed with jolly bits of scrumptious, Nonsense-soaked Carrollian references. Would it interest you to know that:

1. Mimsy is a portmanteau of miserable and flimsy. The word is current throughout the Carrollian Multiverse, ranging from Snark Island to Looking Glass Land. Pessimistic linguists call this sort of thing a Grimm Shift, while their more psychologically attuned colleagues prefer to call it a Freudian Slip. The main thing is getting the word out of her knickers and into something a little more comfortable.

2. The Banker is rattling his bones and fingering his hair; the former is a reference to Mister Bones, a stock character in Victorian minstrel shows who would literally play himself, ie., play the bones … and the latter is a probably just the Banker luxuriating in his newly-minted, windswept locks.  Dialectical materialism works wonders on the dreaded Bed Head.
The Bone Player, by William Stanley Mount

3. The deliciously well-turned line, "words whose utter inanity proved his insanity," is a cleverly veiled jab at the letter "S", whose appearance inside a word, say inanity, seems sufficient here to render it unfit to operate heavy machinery or make major financial decisions. This petty defamation of the letter "S" is itself a classic example of the inability of most phonemes to just get along. Why can't they learn to live in peace with one another? It's utter insanity, their communal inanity.


  1. At the aroma club, was all the ballyhoo about non-scents nonsense?

    The castrati sommelier was decanting whilst descanting.

    The oculate worms twine and osculate.

  2. Thanks again for making me aware of that bone rattler painting.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year, Götz! 2014 is going to be a great year for Snark Hunting!

  4. Not only was the banker rattling his bones, but so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white! From Mr. Lear we know, that also other tasks usually performed by heads can be outsourced to waistcoats: There was an old man of Port Grigor, whose actions were noted for vigour. He stood on his head till his waistcoat turned red, that eclectic old man of Port Grigor.