Archive for the ‘Morning names’ Category

Seasonal thanks

December 24, 2018

A juxtaposition of two sets of greetings for the season, each expressing thanks for the recipient’s work.

Item A, two pieces of e-mail to Emily Menon Bender, from completely unfamiliar organizations, thanking her for her publications in computational linguistics: some new cross between holiday cards from commercial associates (maintaining the business relationship) and what Margalit Fox calls “demented p.r. releases”, what amount to cold calls (by electronic means or ordinary mail) soliciting the recipient’s business.

Item B, a brief e-mail to me from a complete stranger thanking me for my blog postings. Thanks to the fact that the sender has a name even rarer than mine, I was able to verify that he was not only a real person but a very interesting scholar — and the note moved me far more than he could have imagined, coming after a long dispiriting week. (What’s more, it turned out to latch onto my morning name from the 18th, (Lady) Ottoline Morrell.)

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A Picardy morning

December 4, 2018

Yesterday’s morning name was Picardy, no doubt because the song “Roses of Picardy” played on my iTunes while I was sleeping (as I discovered when I got up). This will eventually take us from northern France in the Great War to the Ireland of “Danny Boy”.

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A morning in the Blue Period

December 2, 2018

That morning was 10/29, and the morning name then was Paloma Picasso: an alliterative double amphibrach. Bringing with it an allusion to her fashionable clothes and accessories, and to her father’s paintings.

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A morning in the home counties

November 29, 2018

That morning was November 11th, when the morning name was home counties.

A first stab, from Wikipedia:


(#1) The former administrative counties (1889—1965) surrounding London (names of those bordering London in boldface): 1. Buckinghamshire 2. Hertfordshire 3. Essex 4. Berkshire 5. Middlesex (now entirely absorbed within London) 6. Surrey 7. Kent 8. Sussex.

The home counties are the counties of England that surround London (although several of them do not border it). The counties generally included in the list are Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. Other counties more distant from London — such as Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire — are also sometimes regarded as home counties due to their proximity to London and their connection to the London regional economy.

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Morning at the bottom of the sea

November 25, 2018

Today’s morning name surfaced from the depths of the ocean: benthic, especially in the phrase benthic worm. No, I don’t know why.

(Insert here a note about the salty fellow Benthic Worm, a denizen of the abyssal plain, who bristles at the epithet dirty.)
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Ancient of days

October 7, 2018

My morning name on the 5th, a line from a familiar hymn (“Come Thou Almighty King” / “Come, Thou Almighty King” / “Come Thou, Almighty King”), sung to the tune known as Moscow, Trinity, or Italian Hymn. Surely not by accident, an album of familiar hymns was playing on my iTunes when I woke up — but “Come Thou Almighty King” had not been played. Yet. While I was checking the playlist on my computer the hymn came up. So I seem to have been prescient.

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Mornings in Greece and Rome

September 17, 2018

Two morning names: from the 8th, the Greek dessert wine mavrodaphne; and from the 9th, the garment peplum (the ancient Roman garment, based on the Greek peplos; the modern flounce in women’s clothing — and more).

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Stick insects and tree crickets

September 1, 2018

Today’s morning name: stick insect (creatures from my insect-collecting childhood):


(#1) The strong stick insect, Anchiale briareus

Fascinating creatures, with long bodies and camouflage coloration — brown like sticks, green like leaves.

Probably in my mind from a Facebook query by Georgia Morgan on the 30th about a long-bodied brownish insect that had turned up on a screen in her Brattleboro VT house. Which, as it turned out, was a tree cricket, not a stick insect.

A celebrated kid riddle:

Q: What’s long, brown, and sticky?

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Swiss art supplies in the morning

August 31, 2018

Today’s morning name: Caran d’Ache. A Swiss art supplies company specializing in pencils. With a complex linguistic and social history behind its name. There will be cartoons as well. (No food, sex, music, or plants, but you can’t have everything. On the other hand, there will be clowns and some chemistry / materials science.)


(#1) The box for a 40-color selection of pencils, proudly flying the Swiss flag

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Mandarin orange at the Malamute Saloon

August 30, 2018

Yesterday’s morning names. I have a ghost of a clue as to why Mandarin oranges came to me at dawn, but the Malamute Saloon is a total mystery.

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