(Not about language, but another entertaining quotation from Jane Austen, passed on to me by Chris Ambidge.)
From a letter of April 18, 1811, from Jane to her elder sister Cassandra.
Another quotation postcard from Jane Austen (from Chris Ambidge), this time with some genuine linguistic interest:
Chris disagreed with the quotation (he and I are dependable correspondents, at least for one another) — but then this is not an expression of Jane’s own opinion, but a statement by one of her characters, which is quite a different thing. From Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon, which is about (among other things) the creation of a new English seaside town in the early 19th century.
On Tuesday, Ned Deily and I were investigating the workings of my scanner, after it had behaved oddly for me on several occasions (garbage on scanning some black-and-white images, very odd colors when scanning some Jane Austen colored cards). The problem was traced back to some scanner settings I hadn’t known were there, so we re-set those and tried scanning one card of each type, using items I’d gotten in the mail (from Chris Ambidge). Herewith the results.
Another quotation from Jane Austen (again, thanks to Chris Ambidge) — this time from a letter written on Xmas Eve 1798:
Chris reminds me that Jane Austen was the daughter of a parish priest, which (I suppose) would put her in a postion to long for release from being agreeable, especially in seasons of celebration..
Two Sunday cartoons touching on formulaic language: a Zippy with clichés, a One Big Happy with a familiar quotation in a German accent:
The line between clichés and idioms is not always clear (and I’m not at all sure that making the distinction clearer would be particularly useful): I’d class have a frog in one’s throat and zip your lip, for instance, as idioms.
The German heavy from a bad movie, with a standard line.
On NPR on the 26th, a piece about memorable sentences, from The American Scholar:
Have you ever had a sentence stop you in your tracks? Editors at The American Scholar magazine have put out their list of the “Ten Best Sentences” in fiction and nonfiction. Associate editor Margaret Foster says the inspiration came from water cooler talk around the office.
Examples from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, James Joyce, Jane Austen, and Truman Capote, plus an interesting collection of suggestions by commenters.
Fropm the recent comics crop, two Bizarros (one old, one new) and (via Arne Adolfsen) two recent New Yorker cartoons, a Roz Chast and a Tom Cheney,