Words, Words, Words

October 14, 2000

Even when I'm lax about posting journal entries, I'm usually at least semi-active on the SFF Net newsgroups, which can easily be accessed through http://webnews.sff.net or various dedicated newsreaders. Every so often I'll reprint some of my more interesting posts here.

Our first reprint comes from Fiona Avery's newsgroup, sff.people.fiona-avery. She recently began writing a comic book series called No Honor, about a jewel thief possessed by the spirit of a dead samurai. Through a complicated series of digressions, I ended up writing the following digression:

As you know, Bob, the samurai were able to maintain their sartorial dominance through what was, for the time, surprisingly sophisticated technology in hair care products. Over two dozen disemboweled peasants were needed to provide enough raw materials for one bottle of shampoo. The feudal structure dictated by the warrior class's need for silky, shiny hair led to cultural rigidity which, ironically, allowed the Western nations to leap ahead of Japan in the vital realm of designer name-brand fashions.

My second reprint comes from Laura Underwood's newsgroup, where she challenged us to guess the meaning of the word "ramstougar". Here is my entry:

A lamb suckling persistently enough at a male ram's nipples will eventually induce lactation. This liquid was used by the Pizik heretics of the Swiss Alps to create a unique cheese, 'Ramstougar', which they employed in bizarre and awful rites too horrifying to be described (save in Latin, for the edification of scholars).

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