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July 14, 2005


In Ophelia's mad monologue, "There's rue, for remembrance" is a deliberate pun, I think. Quote perhaps not exact.

"hreow"? Who knew the Old Angles were cats?

In fact one of the entries for the sorrowful "rue" in the OED is "With punning allusion to RUE n.1".

1500-20 DUNBAR Poems lxiv. 10 Leif nor flour fynd could I nane of rew. 1583 GREENE Mamillia II. Wks. (Grosart) II. 297 Least time and triall make thee account Rue a most bitter hearbe. 1606 J. DAVIES (Heref.) Select Sec. Husband Wks. (Grosart) II. 8/1 So shalt thou But beare thine own Harts-ease, and neuer Rue. 1721 KELLY Scot. Prov. 284 Rue in Thyme should be a Maiden's Posie. 1825 WATERTON Wand. S. Amer. III. 238 They did all in their power to procure balm for me instead of rue. But it would not answer.

both non and potable

"both potable and non," I should think.

"...there's rue for you, and here's some for me; we may call it herb of grace o'Sundays; O, you must wear your rue with a difference."

Rue, regret, is the one herb she plans to take. Rue is also an abortifacient.

"both potable and non," I should think.

That's because you are a lackluster prose stylist and I am the next Thomas Browne.

Thomas Browne. I worked with the guy who maintains that site one summer when I was writing shell scripts for the Journal of Chemical Physics.

it's because if you put "portable" first, you understand the "non" when it comes, but the reverse is not true.

Yes. I understand. But the sheer momentum of my writing carries the reader through his or her moment of wonderment at the bare "non" right through the "potable" (and said reader would continue to career wildly were it not for the all-stopping power of the period) at which point the "non" becomes retrospectively comprehensible; and more than that, a vital realization is effected, videlicet, by putting the "non" first, I advert the attentive reader to the understanding that it is only because of the nonpotable that the potable is noteworthy.

uh huh.

Your prose style has elements both un and readable.

I think your neologistic usage is inadvertentisable.

Watch it, dave. I know where you live, more or less.

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