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January 23, 2007


You are the most ridiculous man I have ever known.

I crack up.

Nice use of "an" in the last sentence.

Thanks. That use of "an" is one of my favorite antique usages.


Sorry, this is an American blog. No Canadians.

Thank god someone understands my lame jokes.

Georges Perec would be proud. (But the "the the" in the title might give him pause.)

Several people have told me that they thought some constraint other than using no other vowel than "a" was at play in the above text (actually some of them thought some other constraint was at play without having identified the one that is at play). Usually this misapprehension was based on the economy of letters used in "Pallas slaps a Lapp" and the generally high proportion of certain consonants in the following (mostly "l" and "p"). That high concentration is actually there because I was having a hard time thinking of words that I could actually use and tended to use those already present in what was written as the basis for finding more; that is, I employed no such other constraint. Can this count, I wonder, as an instance of Canada Dry? I didn't set out to write something that gives the appearance of conforming to a rule to which it doesn't in fact conform, but—must I so have set out?

(One reason to disallow unintentional seemings of conformity to a constraint might be that doubtless all texts produced do unintentionally conform to some constraint, though perhaps not an Oulipian one.)—actually that won't work, because conformity to some arbitrary constraint isn't the same thing as having "the taste and color" of such a conformity.

Proffer rule, reduced: Oulipo spoof.

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