[As part of a memorial tribute to law colleague Professor Robert C. Art, died Jan. 8, 2004]
[Comment on James 5:11]
"Job was patient--for about 10 minutes."
[Spoonerisms, Malapropisms or other choice choices of words, either actually heard or reliably reported]
[From a sermon]
"We must get rid of the scrounge of racism."
[Concerning story-telling propensities of older people]
"Well, Elmer is now in his anecdotage."
[Comments heard at an awards ceremony]
"He is beyond the ultimate; I would call him the penultimate."
"He went beyond the call of duty in performing meretricious service."
[When a person begins to lose the memory]
"I hear grandma is developing Old Timer's disease."
[Statement made to me by President's Secretary, at a College, when I informed her of my special abilities with memory]
"So, are you telling me you have a photogenic memory?
"True redemption dawns when you fire your Shrink and hire a Geek."
[Comment on Job 42: 7]
"Thank God that He is big enough to admit His mistakes."
"A friend called to say his case would be heard by the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia
has not yet contacted him about the hunting trip."
[On the 7-2 Supreme Court decision on theological scholarships in Davey v. Locke]
"The Court disallowed the scholarships, 7-2. Rehnquist wrote for the majority. Scaliamas dissented."
[On Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"]
"Though there are some subtleties and even flashes of brilliance in the film, I conclude that Gibson, like the Christ he portrays, repeatedly fell flat on his face in the film."
[On Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"]
" The film never escapes its pallid monochromatism."
[On Gay Marriage]
"I am against gay marriage because of the sacredness of that union," he solemnly explained to his third wife.
"The Church I once attended is so liberal theologically that it recently hired as its pastor a heterosexual married man with two healthy children."
[On Christopher Columbus Langdell's introduction of the case book method to legal study in 1871]
"Langdell died in 1905, but he still rules us from the grave."
[The opening sentence of my inagural lecture in an endowed chair in legal history, an appointment which will never come]
"There is no law, but only the history of law; and even that does not exist but only its historiography, which has never been written."
"Moral purity is a mirage."
[To all who think that the goal of education is technical proficiency or "to learn how to learn"]
"The goal of education should be to enable a more precise and eloquent expression of the emotions."
[Comment on Julius Caesar's death, in Shakespeare's JC 3.1.77]
"Never was Caesar so impressive, so vulnerable, or so human, as in his death."
[A fisherman's version of portions of Verse 2 of "My Country 'Tis of Thee"]
"I love my rods and reels; thy fish and marbled seals; My heart with rapture squeals, Like that above."
[On Tennessee women's basketball]
"With a coach named Summit, where else can they go but to the top?"
[On the Eagles' song "Lyin' Eyes"]
"The Eagles were celebrities. There ain't no way to hide their lionize."
[The Democratic Dilemma]
"Condoleezza or Condosleezza?"
"I gave a quiz to my law students,
explaining that they should write 'in complete' sentences. Several students
wrote with bullet points or partial sentences. I guess they thought I made
a mistake in the directions by putting a space between the words 'in' and 'complete.' Thank goodness
they helped me out."
[Comment on Job 42: 7]
"The most important words in life appear after the comma."
[On asterisks in baseball record
"One asterisk meant that it took Roger Maris 162 games (instead of 154) to hit 61 homers. Will two askerisks mean that McGwire and Bonds used 'supplements' to help them set their records?"
[On teaching great literature]
"Dante is daunting, but you can always hit it out of the park with Homer."
[On teaching great literature]
"Job is a real job."
[On teaching great literature]
"Some may consider Euripides a minor playwright, but no one says, 'Aeschylus Smeshchylus.'"
[The Democrats dilemma circa 1998-99]
"Be good to yourself. Study Job"
"After President Bush demonized Saddam Husssein, is it any wonder that the President's lowest subordinates would dehumanize Saddam Hussein's minions?
"Did President Bush know of the Iraqi prisoner abuse when he said, at his news conference, that it was America's ambition to "transform" Iraq and, through Iraq, the Middle East?"
"The language of 'Transformation,' whether on the lips of an Evangelical Preacher or an Evangelical President, is spoken in the teeth of what both know to be contrary realities."
"Why, then, do they speak of 'Transformation?' Because they wish the contrary (human limitation; evil; sin) was not so prevalent in the world. 'Transformation' is a wish. It is not something possible but something that those who know it is not possible wish was possible nevertheless."
"There is a difference between hitting the wall on Heartbreak Hill and hitting the wall at Indy."
[A drywaller's favorite Arthur Conan Doyle story]
"The Spackled Band"
"Evangelicals want to go to a 'Bible-believing Church.' Can you imagine a church that would advertise itself as a 'Bible Disbelieving Church?'"
[On the language in the Book of Job]
"When God finally addresses Job in chapter 38, God brings Job into his hyperbolic chamber."
[On an advertisement for The Passion of the Christ endorsed by several Christian leaders, appearing in a teen Christian magazine entitled Campus Life in June 2004]
"Even the late Bill Bright [of Campus Crusade for Christ; he died in 2003] endorsed the movie. It seems that The Passion of the Christ moves not just the living."
"I received an invitation requesting the honour of my presence at the nuptials and the favour of my reply to the invitation on behalf of Professor Clark's daughter. I will, unfortunately, have to tell Professor Clourke I won't be available.
"My colleague, Ed Harri, asked me for emergency help grading law exams. If I didn't do so, he would have become Ed Harried."
[How an Australian mispronounces my name]
"Boston Red Sox pitcher Keith Foulke wanted to wear a small American flag patch on his cap. As he said, 'It's not like I was trying to call attention to myself. I'm a patriotic person, and it's just a personal thing I wanted to do....a lot of people don't even notice it.' If he didn't want people to notice, he could have attached it where people don't see it, maybe on one of his butt cheeks, for example."
"A friend of mine said that the company she is working for has a new commitment to diversity. What that probably means is that they will hire people not only with an English ancestry, but a Scottish one too."
"After placing second in the National Senior Spelling Bee in September 2004, I think I may write some books on the subject. Three titles that come to mind are: (1) Networking for Nerds; (2) Word Nerds (though I don't really like this one); and (3) The Sensuous Speller."
"My former wife was so unappreciative of me that if I had just walked on water she would have greeted me at the front door and immediately told me to remove my shoes so that I wouldn't track water on the carpet."
[Course Title of a Feminist Environmental Law School Professor]
"The Engendered Species Act"
[Responding to GW Bush's Mention in Iowa Speech on 7/20/04 that he wants to be known as a "Peace" President]
"GW Bush's desire to be known as a peace President is like Barry Goldwater's wanting to be known in 1964 as a moderate Republican candidate."
"One wonders whether Faggs Manor Presbyterian Church has ever contemplated becoming a 'More Light' church."
"My friend used to lecture on the evils of circumcision. Now he is an INACTIVE INTACTIVIST."
"Congratulations are in order to Harold Koh, new Dean of the Yale Law School, the first Asian-American Dean of an American law school. He came to this country with his parents and five siblings in 1961 at age 8, and now is atop one of the most highly regarded American legal institutions. He has written dozens of legal articles, represented immigrants and is the author or the KOH-author of many books."
"I was disturbed that my New Hampshire friend seemed to take everything for granite."
"Carl Linnaeus (1707-78), the Father of Taxonomy, wrote his autobiography five times in his life. The only thing in the universe he could not classify was himself."
[A Primer on Church History for Sports Lovers, with thanks to Professor Bruce Burton]
"And then there is the story of how 70 bishops, priests and deacons in a synod called in Antioch in A.D. 269 declared adoptionist christology heretical and voted to depose Paul of Sammy Sosa."
"I recently visited the Oregon Coast. Signs on the beach warned me to beware of 'sneaker waves.' Sure enough, within a few minutes, a soggy pair of PF Flyers washed ashore."
"I have to confess I am an elitist when it comes to words. I tend to look down on someone for whom tintinnabulation doesn't ring a bell."
"It is ironic that the English word meaning 'rule by women' has an acute on the antepenult."
"A commonplace among lawyers is that it is ominous to have a will that is not onymous."
"Let's make up a word, derived from the vicious language swirling around the 2004 Presidential Campaign. It is 'ophioglottic.' It means 'snake-tongued.' Can you think of someone to whom the word applies?"
[On reclaiming words from the medical profession]
"Doctors have tons of words that no one else does, some of which are even useful. A case in point is 'splanchnic,' meaning 'pertaining to the viscera.' The Greek word 'splanchna,' from which it derives, appears frequently in the New Testament and is translated as 'entrails' or 'bowels' (KJV), but it has a metaphorical meaning of one's inmost heart or thoughts. Why not recapture it for today? A 'splanchnic' feeling would be one that is deeply felt and rooted. Deeper even than 'visceral,' splanchnic would suggest the feelings at the center of one's being."
"He turned in a very poor paper. His performance was simply abdominal."
"What she didn't count on in academia was so much acidemia."
"After associating with many people who just didn't get it, he thought that rather than shrinking, the BOZONE layer was really thickening."
"Cole Porter was no colporteur."
"Divagate means to wander about; it has nothing to do with a scandal among prima donnas."
What we really need are permiscive rather than permissive parents--parents who know how to mix all things that come to them and then make a decision on what is best to do for their children."
[Spoken by a Geology student having found an astonishingly beautiful rock]
The Ideolect's Cry: "Give me Words, and I will give you a World."
I went to the Admissions Office at the College but, because it was lunch time, I couldn't get in.
[Reflection on Jesus' Words]
"Man does not live by bread alone. He needs cliches."
"A sure sign that people have lost creative ability is that they say they are committed to thinking outside THE BOX."
"I decided to take up the study of minerals in 10/04 because I finally wanted some solid knowledge."
[Reflecting on the Evangelical Protestant college where I taught from 1990-1996]
"The College was too inadequately funded and too adequately Fundied."
[Commenting on the Advice my Teachers always gave me to write more briefly]
"Boil it down! Boil it down! was their constant advice. What did they think I was? Sap?"
[A sexual primer based on New York State geography]
"First you come to Howe Caverns, then you go to the Finger Lakes and then you don't want to miss VIAGRA FALLS."
"He decided to give up the study of history after having a hard time with FUTILISM."
"If Jesus' condemner had been into aerobics, he would have been called PONTIUS PILATES."
[Thoughts on seasons while on a college campus]
"You can tell the season of the year by who is on crutches. If the hulky guys are on crutches, it is the Fall (football); if lithe guys and girls are on crutches, it is Winter (skiing); if no one is on crutches, it is Spring, because baseball players avoid contact with all objects at all costs."
"One of the biggest struggles in life is to make yourself clear. Most scholars, like many of those who never write a word, come up short in this regard. Obscurity doesn't mean that they are being brilliant. It just means that they haven't mastered the difficult skill of speaking and writing lucidly. Their ideas sometimes live despite them. Another argument for God's existence."
[On the NBA Brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills on November 19, 2004]
"Seeing Pacers' forward Stephen Jackson pummeling fans in the stands puts new meaning into his position on the team: SWINGMAN."
[Words which no doubt will be spoken at a Memorial Service for me]
"No one could remotely do what Bill could do intellectually.....and very few cared." Now, how's THAT for an example of ANTANAGOGE or, in Puttenham's words, "RECOMPENCER"?
"Silly girls--to think that a man can love you the way you need and deserve to be loved."
"The shirt a friend bought me for Christmas really ENHANDSOMES me."
[Thinking on the differences between men and women with respect to men having to wait for women]
"Arnold Toynbee must have been married. He no doubt could have written his 10 Volume A Study of History waiting for his wife."
"A friend suggested that I visit the Cranberry Museum in Southwest Washington, but I decided against it. I just didn't want to get bogged down."
"When I lived in Kansas a different friend suggested that I make a special effort to visit the Barbed Wire Museum in LaCrosse. I didn't. I just didn't want to get hung up there."
85.--A "Seasonal" Billphorism
[Line sung by Advent Carolers, with reponse, outside the Portland (OR) Art Museum, where a retrospective of the Oregon works (1904,1908) of Childe Hassam was on Display, beginning December 11, 2004]
"Carolers: 'What Child(e) is this?' Response: 'Hassam.'"
"A friend was wearing a Whitman College tee shirt. The mascot/nickname of Whitman is the 'Missionaries.' They are the 'Whitman Missionaries.' So, my question to him was, 'What is the Missionary Position on the Iraq War?'"
[On Maxims of Equity, about two dozen proverbial sayings guiding Courts of Equity in common law England. The Maxims were more or less codified by the 18th century]
"I wrote a note to my fashion-conscious friend about "Maxims of Equity." She misread the second 'm' of Maxims as 'ne,' and so she inquired as to whether 'Maxines of Equity' was as prominent as 'Filenes of Boston' or 'Saks of New York.'"
"My social life has declined precipitously of late ever since the first question I ask my dates is whether they would be willing to leap on my burning funeral pyre in an act of self-immolation at my death. The social life declines yet further when I correct myself and ask if she would prefer to be one of the three women who does that or one of the seven who would, instead, proclaim the Gospel of Bill to the whole world."
"Sign on Long Beach, WA house, 'Carpenter Hired by the Hour.' I wondered if he brought all the tools."
[In honor of my Yoga-practicing friends, mostly women in their 40s and 50s]
"If only Job had learned to breathe deeply. Hm. There goes the most eloquent statement of human loss in Western literature..."
"And then there's the story of the turf wars in the Intermountain Grass Growers Association..."
"Definition in the Latest Psychological Dictionary. 'Assolescence: The Stage between Childhood and Adulthood.' There is a footnote: 'some authorities add an 'h' after the second 's.''"
"December is the time for Christmas shopping. I will be getting my brother Robert, a pool enthusiast, a Bobiards table."
"The literary critic was delighted to land a teaching position in Synecdoche, New York."
[Signs of a supportive Mother]
"I say, 'Mom, I just finished my autobiography.' Her response, 'Great, Bill. Who is it about?'"
"I say, 'Mom, the Bar Association Bulletin has some information on me.' Her response, 'Is it in the IN MEMORIAM section?'"
[On the NBA Brawl late in November, 2004]
"I personally believe that the guy who threw the beer at Artest is the most cuppable."
[Reflection on the Season's of the Year, from the Perspective of Watching College Students]
"September and October is the time for LAPS (since they always are sitting in each other's laps then); November is the time for WRAPS (since it is getting colder) and November and December is the time for MAPS (as they frantically put outlines together for their finals). The new year reverses this. January and February are the time for MAPS, March the time for WRAPS and then, by April and May they are back on each other's LAPS again. Anytime of the year is a great occasion for NAPS."
[My Autobiography in a Nutshell]
"I suffer from the disease of congenital (and terminal) clarity."
[From an actual legal case]
"A male worker wrote a sexually harassing letter to female co-worker. Among other things, he said he was in 'TERM OIL' over her. After she sued him he was in more than 'TERM OIL,' I think."
[My weak attempt at polyptoton. See essay on that subject under EVEN MORE WORDS]
"Edward Coke (pronounced COOK) saw that his goose was cooked when he indicted Chancellor Ellesmere and others in 1616."
[Actual names of people in actual jobs; well, some may be fake...]
"A Justice on King's Bench in the 1610s: Justice Crook;|
A dentist in Oregon: Dr. Payne;
A funeral director: Mr. Coffin;
A paver of roads: Mr. Street;
An airplane pilot: Captain Kirk;
A chiropractor, Dr. Popp;
The partners in business, Mr. Ketchum and Mr. Cheatham.
An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Bonebrake
An obstetrician, Dr. Hyman
A spelunker, Ms. Cave
The obesity researcher, Dr. Ima Hogg
The famous pelologist, Dr. Mudd
The evangelist, Justin Time
The foreign language instructor, Dr. Rosetta Stone
The horticulturalist, Dr. Garden
"I had a friend pursuing graduate work in Religious Studies. His school-issued picture ID had only 14 spaces for department identification. He proudly used to show his card to all his dates."
[A little-known common law writ]
[A common complaint among police chiefs in our methamphetamine-driven society]
"Is there METH in his MADNESS?"
[Headline in an online news service, with my comment]
"Economy Grows Faster than Thought in 2nd Quarter." 'I know that Lucretius, the first century BCE Epicurean, talked about the downward flow of the atoms as "faster than thought," but I didn't know that the economy also flowed with like speed.'
"And on the eighth day, God created ADVIL."
"When the Gonzaga Bulldogs hired men's basketball coach Mark Few in 1999, the search committee no doubt thought that many had been called but FEW was chosen."
[Reflecting on the Second Verse of Silent Night, following a Christmas Eve Service]
"What would be the theological implications if the carol said 'Son of God, Loves Pure Light' instead of 'Son of God, Love's Pure Light'? Would the lack of an apostrophe make an iota of Difference?"
"My essays--a haiku of learning
A New World."
"The Locus Poenitentiae--a place not only of change of heart, but of delightful demand, of furious frozenness."
[On a friend's response when I told her I would be teaching a class at a church in her town]
"'Bill, I would love to attend. I know exactually where the church is.' Occam's razor applied to precise words..."
"I sometimes wonder what the gold at Sutter's Mill felt when it lay undiscovered for so long."
[I have lived in Salem OR since 1996]
"I live in Salem--a town that has been in decline since before it was founded..."
[With thanks to poet Jane Kenyon]
"Learn from the peony--it is staggered by its own luxuriance."
"The Church Bulletin had an asterisk in it at several points. The note below said that at these points you should stand 'if you are able.' Knowing that it was a Presbyterian Church, whose numbers have declined precipitously and whose congregations have aged dramatically in 30 years, I wondered why it didn't say, 'Asterisk: Breathe if you are able.'"
"And then there is the story of the serial killer who murdered for Special K..."
"I would tell more jokes at my own expense if I had anything left in my account."
[A Primer on American Constitutional Law, taught by an editor at Roget's]
"Let's not forget the right to have a jury of one's glances, looks, stares....er..."
[On the South Asian tsunamis after Christmas 2004]
"50,000 dead one day; 100,000 dead the next. And still the American stock market goes up. How wrong John Donne was."
[On Christmas presents]
"If I receive another present of a calendar featuring the work of Impressionist artists, I will start throwing watering cans at Cathedrals."
[After watching "Control Room"]
"Al Jazeera--fair and balanced; Fox News--fair and balanced. They must agree with each other, right?"
[The human dilemma]
"We know that everyone spins a story. But we still long for truth."
"The Petition of Right (1628): A Milestone for the Rights of the People; a Millstone for Charles I."
"Job's Dilemma: God's mercifullessness."
"Johnny Carson's Genius-- He brought out the Midwesterner in us all."
"To say that a Jew is an incomplete Christian is to say that a woman is an incomplete man."
[On the current debate in the Oregon Legislature over whether to continue to allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on elementary and secondary school campuses]
"The argument for continuing to allow this practice was eloquently stated by one person. 'I could no longer attend the football or soccer practice of one of my grandsons, because I would not be able to invoke my certified right to protect myself.' My Comment: Indeed, I hear that those eight year-old midfielders are a particularly fierce breed."
[Reflecting on John Donne's vigorous awareness of his own sin]
"Could we say that Christ's Redemption of Humanity, for Donne, was a 'Donne deal?'"
[The name of a weeping Armenian gentleman]
"My altar-ego is the persona I adopt when I preach."
"There is no greater proof of the chasm existing between Western and Eastern Orthodox Christian spirituality than that the Eastern is called Hesychasm."
"Journals in alphabetical order on a library shelf. '(1) Journal of Far Eastern Studies. (2) Journal of Near-Death Studies. (3) Journal of Near Eastern Studies.' I guess that means that Near Death is somewhere between the Far and Near East. How true for 2005."
[Admissions policies of Ethiopian universities in the 1960s]
"Regional universities were Non-Selective, while the National University in Addis Ababa was Highly Selassie."
"My children's eyes always light up when they are going to do something special with friends and I say, 'Bring me my wallet.' They know that it packs a wallop."
"It takes a very confident person to admit how much of an utter failure he is."
[After dealing with the backbiting and slander in California, Arnold's next movie]
[A new disease, caught especially by "Inside the Beltway" Legislators]
"Capital Tunnel Syndrome"
"When the advertisement says, 'WANTED: CREATIVE PEOPLE," can we assume that the company wants creative people?"
"Should laws written to implement the First Amendment be called STATUTES OF LIBERTY?"
[One of the Dumbest Things I have said recently. I was talking to a woman about my age about working out at my gym]
"She said: 'I don't want to be around all those young girls [her word] with their hard bodies. It makes me feel uncomfortable.' My brilliant response, 'Well, it doesn't make ME feel uncomfortable.'"
[Why I study and write in the library rather than in my office]
"So that I can enjoy 'Workus Noninterruptus'"
[One of the final questions asked by a student in what was, I thought, a very successful multi-week adult education class I taught on the Book of Job]
"Let me just get one thing straight. Was the Book of Job written before there were Presbyterians?"
[Reflections on Billphorism #97; you need to read Ch. 1 of A Hard-fought Hope to "get" this]
"Subtlety does, however, have its uses: International Sandal"
"I wonder if Bach had lived in the 21st century whether his famous work would have been called AIR IN A G-STRING?"
"In the Jacksonian Era: the Cult of Domesticity. From 1970-today, the Cult of Feministicity."
[Reflecting on Alice Walker]
"When I am Old, I will use the Pluperfect."
[On my relationships with women, paraphrasing Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas]
"She who is near me is near the fire."
"Could my buried beauty be called my SEPULCHRITUDE? In that case, would any be interested, uninterested or disinterested to disinter it?
"After I read Robert Alter on the Book of Job, I knew I had to change my perspective."
"INUTILE. Now there's a word that resonates."
"Oops. The OED informs me that inutile has gone out of use [though it might have a resurgence]. Now, there's a word that points to its own reality! How useful."
"I wonder sometimes whether Tufts University was named after a famous TRICHOTILLOMANIAC."
"My belly-dancer friend placed at the top of her class at the NAVEL ACADEMY."
[The best way for teacher to relate to students]
"Give them A WAY, but don't give them AWAY."
[A Divine bumper-sticker, based on Job 38:8, and reminiscent of the "Arms are for Hugging" stickers of the 1980s and 1990s]
"Wombs are for Extruding."
[or, to honor my Kansas friends]
"Grain is for Ensiling."
[Sign in a store window, reflecting the unique and difficult Hebrew vocabulary of the Book of Job]
"Hapaxes spoken here."
[The reaction of Oregon State University women's basketball coach Judy Spoelstra, when she was fired at season's end after her team went 1-17 in league play this year]
"'I'm shocked. I'm stunned.' My comment: 'I guess she was stunned because they waited until the end of the season to fire her.'"
"She got into chemistry because she liked the idea of bonding."
"Lithely not Blithely."
[Question on Job 41:32]
"Is Leviathan still on the loose?"
"My friend's first wife, Letha, almost killed him."
[On California's seeming lack of zoning rules]
"My goodness. The Wonton house is right next to a Wanton house."
[On the baseball steroid-use hearings]
"The same mentality that led to Enron's and Worldcom's excesses led to the steroids boom of the 1990s: everyone, including the American public, wanted rapid growth in all areas."
"My friend Tony asked me to participate in his ordination service to the Episcopal priesthood. I told him I didn't have the right garb. He said they would provide Episcopal robes. It turned out they had an alb and a surplus surplice."
[Heard in an adult education classroom]
"'We hope our plans come to fluition.' My comment: It is nice to run into someone who is fruent in English."
[On middle-age dating]
"Because she didn't pronounce her words clearly, I couldn't understand when she spoke to me whether she was looking for a soul-mate or a cell-mate."
"In a Bed & Breakfast near Mendocino, CA, where I recently stayed, the cleaning woman, named Aura, left an envelope in which I could leave a tip if I desired. I decided to leave a generous tip. This would motivate her to clean even harder, I thought. Would her name then become AURA LABORA?"
"Another proof of God's existence could be found in the lingering grave condition and then the death of Pope John Paul II at the same time that Terry Schiavo died. Terry who?"
[Reflecting on the upcoming Conclave of Cardinals, to choose the successor to John Paul II]
"Those Cardinals aspiring to the papacy ought to hire Robert Schuller to lead a seminar on PAPABILITY THINKING."
[Words spoken by an angry 19th century explorer to his colleague as they were surveying the Northern Arizona mesas]
"If you don't shut up, I am going to kick your butte."
[My advice to high-school students still undecided about which college they should attend--written 4/6/05]
"Depressed people will want to avoid DOWNER COLLEGE (WI);
"Trichotillomaniacs will end up at TUFTS UNIVERSITY (MA);
"Mountain climbers will want to avoid SLIPPERY ROCK STATE U (PA);
"Elvis aficionados will want to attend GRACELAND COLLEGE (IA);
"Students of pelology will attend HARVEY MUDD (CA);
"Butchers and candlestick makers will avoid BAKER U (KS);
"Descendants of Dracula will be welcome at TRANSYLVANIA U (KY);
"Anarchists should do their best to try to avoid the various CONCORDIA colleges;
"SCHOLARS should consider entering RHODES U (TN);
"Those with a pro-British spelling inclination should go to CENTRE COLLEGE (KY);
"Future locksmiths should attend YALE U (CT);
"Students with bad teeth should consider going to COLGATE U (NY);
[Words before prayer, spoken by the Rev. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, as they were just about to fleece their gullible listeners of millions of dollars]
"Let us prey..."
[The atmosphere in the Cameron Field House at a North Carolina vs. Duke basketball game]
"Denial is neither a river in Egypt nor a mountain in Alaska."
"Ah, the pageantry and striking garb of the great Western religions. The Catholics have their papal tiara and shepherd's crook and mitres; the Protestants have their flowing robes; the Jews have their phylacteries and woven garments; the Mormons have their white shirts and backpacks."
"His acathisia was long-standing."
"Strict controls are necessary so that the work of dendrochronologists doesn't become a tree-ring circus."
"Reginald Heber thought that Greenland's Icy Mountains witnessed to the Rock of Ages; Ice-core stratigraphers think Greenland's Icy Mountains witness to the Age of Rocks."
"If he had gone into geometry, would his name have been Isaac Azimuth?"
"If the only thing the dendrochronologist is going to speak about is tree borings, the talk will be tres boring."
180. (written 4/19/05, upon the election of a new Pope)
"Rats! It's Ratzinger."
[Reflections on Article 2-Sales--of the Uniform Commercial Code]
"Today we treat Impracticability--the OTHER seven-syllable word."
[Dubya, interpreting JFK's famous line]
"A rising tide lifts all yachts."
[My literary method, coining a new word along the way]
"Spare but not aspere."
[My literary ouput]
"Prolific but not prolix"
[Filling out forms for graduation caps and gowns]
"Question: Cap Size___. My Answer: I hope not"
[A thought after interacting with a colleague]
"She was one of those professional women who considered her success in life directly proportional to the number of meetings she was required to attend."
[After witnessing Phoenix dismantle Memphis, 4-0, in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, paraphrasing the Beatles]
"Here come the Suns"
"In the Fall, during hunting season, the statesman became civet-minded."
[False Mapquest Directions]
"Then you turn left at the cylindrical building, the Foursquare Church"
[The Sacramento Kings coach, after losing 4-1 to Seattle]
[What the hawk said to its mate, after vomiting out an indigestible meal]
"I feel pterrible."
And if the meal was one of ferns, the words would have been:
"I feel pterible."
[The lagoon out of which Evangelicals originally emerged]
"The Bay of Fundy"
[On Senator Gordon Smith's indecisiveness regarding Social Security Reform]
"Now there, in Senator Smith, you have a bold and enterprising politician of principle."
[Fight song of 14th century Knights]
"Heaume on the Range"
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"CALLIPYGIAN: A buttiful thing to behold."
"Proponents of 'Intelligent Design' are ignoring one powerful argument for their position: their own stupidity. Wouldn't it be just like God, the so-called 'intelligence' behind 'Intelligent Design,' to pick seemingly inadequate vessels to proclaim the truth of the theory? After all, what is St. Paul's central point of how God operates through people in I Cor 1?"
"Of course dimethylTRYPtamine is a hallucinogenic drug."
"I couldn't believe his edacity. He just ate the food right off MY plate."
"If the Great Powers extended their influence into swamps after they divided Africa among themselves in 1884-85, would this have been an example of Chelonialism?"
"You really get into trouble in life when you start listening to people."
"Too many Greek salads and fine wine gave him a strong case of feta alcohol syndrome."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"PRO-LIFE: Making a FETISH of a FETUS."
[Words Sung to me by a friend when he learned of my latest book-signing]
"Happy Sales to You..."
"Few know that Cave Man Lawyer sings in an a glabella choir."
"The money-oriented father thought his child was a financial whiz when the first word dad believed he heard from son's mouth was 'Google.'"
[Living situation of the super-rich in Southern California]
"A G(h)attoed Community."
[Seminar that Charles Barkley will not be leading in his spare time]
"Fit at Forty"
[Chant of many liberals after GW Bush's Presidency]
"No New Texans!"
[Books by an aspiring anthropologist]
"The Indolent Indologist"
"How Inuits Intuit"
"To be inviable is rarely enviable."
"The priest, who always wanted an aviation ministry, was delighted that he was assigned to the Sacramental Airport."
"Women must be divine, because they are always trying to create man in their image."
"If we performed a double haplology on Gershom Scholem's name, this revered scholar of medieval Jewish mysticism might not be so highly honored."
"Anyone who studies the Book of Job closely must have gone to LOSS SCHOOL."
"Bill Walton--the only sportscaster who has to retract his words BEFORE he speaks them."
[Motto of the America's Cup Sailing Competition]
"Ketch me if you can."
"She dropped the philosophy class because she couldn't stand the ontics of the professor."
"If Ronald Reagan, while an actor, had been into engraving, would he have wanted to win one for the GLYPHER?"
"Eliphaz's view of God--'inscrutable'
Job's view of God--'I'm-screwed-by-you'"
[Proselytizing words of a turban-clad Preacher]
"Sikh the Lord while He may be found."
"It is too bad that diseuse has fallen into disuse."
[On my headstone]
"Here lieth a well-written man."
[Bill Murray's next movie, as he works his way upwards]
"The Life Edaphic"
"If Caesar had guided the Irish, would he have crossed the Rubicund?"
[On middle-aged dating]
"The Concept of Maturity functions for Women like Truth functions for Evangelicals: They have it, and you don't."
[On Deep Throat]
"What was [the] f[F]elt['s] need of coming forth with Deep Throat's identity at THIS time?"
"Wasn't it logically impossible to 'coin' the term exonumia?"
"The dull report also had a dry-as-dust exsiccative summary."
"Youths should read Juvenal."
[Paraphrase of the Sixth Commandment]
"There is no occasion for occision."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"GREED: need for green."
"After employee revolt, feverish outbreaks, and general commotion among the workers, the executive concluded that he had on his hands a staff infection."
"Is it a FELICITOUS irony that FELICIDE and FELICIFIC are next door neighbors in the OED?"
"In your negotiations or mediations, it is better to have a FACILITATOR than a FELICITATOR."
"His lined overcoat made him IMPLUVIOUS to the driving rain."
"Had Ophelia been a cygnet, would Hamlet have urged her, 'Get thee to a swannery'?"
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"HIGH SCHOOL VALEDICTORIAN: the one who has best endured boredom."
"The Scottish Noble's hatred of the king was evident in his thegnly-veiled threats."
"If the BYRDS had really been the BIRDS, their song would have been 'Tern, Tern, Tern.'"
[Words never heard from the mouths of the following celebrities]
"PAT BUCHANAN: 'While I was celebrating Kwanzaa,...'"
"BILL O'REILLY: 'After I apologized for my mistake,..."
"DONALD TRUMP: 'Calling to confirm my hair appointment..'"
[An overheard student conversation about one of the favorite archaeology professors]
"I really dig his profossorial manner."
[On the rigors of becoming a nun in our day]
"I hear it's a real bear to join the Ursuline order."
"He hit his uberty in puberty."
"Catachresis is the wrong word for religious and moral instruction."
"Pascal said that most men live lives of quiet desperation. I quibble. I think many people live lives of quiet heroism."
"After his Mennonite brethren helped him rebuild his destroyed outbuildings and other farm structures after the storm, Zeke Yoder felt as if he was BARN AGAIN."
"If Interstate Truck Lines dropped the 'r' in Interstate, would it then suffer from abulia?"
"ED Cope and OC Marsh: the backbones in the study of vertebrate paleontology."
[Thoughts while driving through Northwest Nevada]
"We must learn to live in reality. There is no reason to live in Denio."
"The dog even had the effrontery to bite the beloved veterinarian, Dr. Knipper."
[Sign over Pub door]
"Guaranteed: No Inhibitions after Imbibition"
"Thank goodness that Is. 7:14 calls his name 'Immanuel' and not 'Immanuable.'"
"Within a week of the London bombings, it is good to see that officials are getting some solid LEEDS."
[From a misprint in an actual liturgy]
"Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the word, have mercy on us."
My Comment: The language speaks truer than it knows.
[My recent CV, in a nutshell]
"1996-1999 Law School; 2000-2003 Infirmed Prestigiously in Portland; 2003-06, Law Professor"
"Jesus told his disciples to go into their closet to pray; in the 1970s people started coming out of the closet. Does anyone ever wonder what happened IN the closet?"
[Imaginary Newspaper Story]
"Dr. James XXX, a clinical psychologist, will speak on how to have successful martial counseling."
[Seen/Scene on the Streets]
Situation: Young People with Cell Phone in one ear and IPOD in the other
Query: "Does the song go directly through the head and into the receiver, or is there an intervening step?"
[A fascinating word]
[The goal of autobiographical writing]
"To be self-REVEL-atory."
Sign in Upper West Side Neighborhood: "No honking: $350 fine"
MY COMMENT: "Even if you love Jesus?"
[Teddy Roosevelt's Quotation, etched in the American Museum of Natural History]
"I want to see you game boys. I want to see you brave and manly and I also want to see you gentle and tender."
MY COMMENT: "Why the misprint, Teddy? Shouldn't the first 'you' really be a 'your' and the next two words be capitalized?"
"You know you are at parents' orientation at an elite college when no one, even in formal meetings, ever tells you to turn off your cell phones."
[Seeing language change right before my eyes]
"The United Airlines preflight video told us all objects needed to be STOWED before takeoff.
The Flight Attendant said, preflight, that all objects needed to be STORED." Language evolves....
[Reflecting on Simonides' definition of Justice from Book 1 of Republic, from the perspective of a hairdresser]
"To give every one his do."
[Reflections on Hurricane Katrina]
"If I were the Director of Homeland Security, I would offer to give the chert-off my back to help."
Definition of Hurricane Katrina: "UnRovable."
[Not a National Best-Seller]
"The Purpose-Driveled Life"
[Reflecting on the death of Simon Wiesenthal on 9/19/05]
"Something tells me that America would profit by having a Simon Wiesenthal in our midst, who can look at us through the prism of our involvement in Iraq, through our unpreparedness for Katrina, and tell us who we are."
[New Motto of the NY Times after the Judith Miller fiasco]
"The New York Times: 'Becoming all the News that's Fit to Print.'"
[The result, after several frustrating hours trying to understand 14th Amendment Equal Protection cases]
"Tears of Scrutiny"
[Song sung by those who realize how difficult it is to get the US Supreme Court to review their case..to the tune of Tipperary]
"It's a long way to certiorari, it's a long way to go"
[Sign on office building]
"Due to a Conflict, the Peacemaking Workshop has been cancelled."
[Question raised by confused five year-old]
"Daddy are they going to send Mr. Libby with his Scooter up the River?"
[The Republican attack on Democrats who urge pullout from Iraq]
"Only someone like Karl Llewellyn could get away with explaining that the Statute of Frauds was to keep people from 'welching' on their contracts" (Cases and Materials on Sales (1930), at 916).
"And then there is the story of the 'reNouwened' Belgian Priest and Spiritual Writer...Henri"
"The Favorite Hymn of Dentists: 'Crown Him with Many Crowns...'"
"And then the choir belted out the third verse of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem.'"
"After being berated by the Fundamentalists for not following biblical principles, the District Attorney finally lost his cool, arrested them, and charged them with several counts of TEXTUAL HARASSMENT.
[I am late in submitting my entry for a New Yorker cartoon from the Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, 2006 issue. It depicts a couple in a hotel room opening their suitcase and seeing fish swimming in it. My suggested caption is:]
[NCAA Tournament Basketball Games abbreviate the names of the competing teams with four letters. One round, therefore, saw....]
"Brad v. Pitt"
[Thinking about Writing]
"I write so much so I can learn to write so little."
"Should the Salem (OR) law firm of Gunn & Gunn advertise that they have the finest hired Gunn's in law?"
"The HEART of my afternoon workouts, at my age, has to be CARDIO work."
[From Long's fearless Dictionary]
"OOLOGIST: A Scientist who needs to catch a Z or two."
[Saddam Hussein's Crime]
"So many people were massaKurd."
[Firebrand Republican opponents of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson]
[The Republican Party in the Wake of the Impending Resignation of the House Majority Leader]
"AIG no longer stands for the insurance conglomerate. It means ALBERTO INHERENT (POWER) GONZALES."
"The Gospel of Judas was preserved intact for about 1600 years in the Egyptian sands, but nearly deteriorated in 16 years in a Long Island security deposit box. You draw your own conclusions."
[When you feel Isolated, Lonely and Depressed, I talk about entering into your "Tube." You are in a...]
[Behavior that Ignores the Realities of the Moment]
[What Westlaw tries to do to its Chief Competitor]
[Sign outside sanctuary of a Protestant Church]
"Blood Pressure Screenings After Each Service." MY COMMENT: "You mean, you have to check for vital signs after worship?"
[After Detroit lost to the Miami Heat in the first game of the Conference Championships]
"They became the Detroit Pissed-Offs"
[Book Title by Renowned Biblical Scholar]
"The Joys of Text"
"And then there's the story of the grammarian who overdosed on MORPHEMES."
"Mahler's 7th: The Full Employment Act for Symphony Musicians"
[Will this be our probable future?]
"Willie Mays: Inducted into the Hall of Fame, 1979."
"Barry Bonds: Indicted into the Hall of Shame, 20??."
"Did you hear that the two tiny Eastern Oregon towns of Dufur and Rufus have decided to consolidate into one town. Its name? DUFUS."
"The People of Oregon ought to be glad that there is no mountain named 'One-Fingered Jack.'"
"He tried for years to show himself as an idiot savant, but unfortunately he only got to the first word."
"If prominent Christian hymnologist Ruth C. Duck moved to Eugene, OR, would she have to change her name to Bea A. Duck?"
[On the ironies of memorization]
"If you tell people you spend time memorizing things they say, 'What a waste of time!' If you demonstrate the fruit of memorization they say, 'What a genius!'"
"The backpackers from Reyjkavik were caught acting in an OUTLANDIC way."
[With thanks to Professor Ed Harri]
"At the funeral of the crossword puzzle guru they announced that he would be buried six feet down--and three across."
[With thanks to Professor Jim Nafziger]
"After having his paper revised by the editors, with 'sic's' and arrows here and there, the frustrated Danish theologian changed the title of the paper to 'The Sicness Unto Death.'"
[Another Oregon Billphorism]
"Oregonians In Action was formed a few years ago to deal with land use issues because they perceived a problem with Oregonians' inaction."
[The Irony of Female Accomplishment]
"Katie Couric: The First Female Solo Network Anchor, Just When America no longer Watches the Evening News."
"When Michael Jordan shaved his head, everyone in the NBA imitated him;
When Lance Armstrong began to wear a yellow wristband, everyone imitated him;
When Maria Sharapova grunted after each shot....."
[Suggested motto for the DSM-V when released in 2012]
"For Every Person--A Disorder."
"Four straight Wimbledon's and US Open's is a real FEDERER in Roger's cap."
"If the Rev. Dr. James Noel became pastor at any First Presbyterian Church, would he also be known as 'First's Noel?'"
[Possible two-word conclusion of a psychologist describing my mind]
"Matthew Arnold could speak of us as inisled, in our 'islands' of loneliness; I think it is more accurate to speak of our culture as 'inaisled' at Walmart, Target, WinCo, Costco..."
[With all the Republican troubles in the Mark Foley fallout, they don't need this...from a prominent newsletter]
"Senator Bill Frisk"
[Headline from a Newspaper, around 2900 A.D., regarding a human skeleton found in SE Maine]
"Found: KENNEBUNKPORT Man"
[My Intellectual Persona]
"A Jack LaLanne of the Mind"
"After studying Shakespeare a while, you realize how BARDACIOUS he was."
Do those who really like Professor Anthony Appiah follow the Appiahn Way?"
[From Long's Fearless Basketball Lexicon]
"PROSIMIAN: Supporters of Wayne"
[A new television show--about clothing]
"Everybody Loves Raiment."
[King Arthur's most trusted lieutenant, when he has many swords]
"If Wesley Snipes is convicted of tax evasion, will he become Wesley Swipes?"
"Question to nautical man: 'Do you like to sail?' Answer: 'An dhow."
"Question: What did the kilt-clad pharmacist order when he lost the pouch in the front of his kilt? Answer: A 'Neosporran.'"
"Though his girlfriend loved the pointed arches and ribbed vaults of the Gothic Cathedrals, he absolutely fell in love with their FLYING BUTTOCKS."
[A task for 2007]
"To RUMInate on the Ghazal Form of Poetry"
[The 2006-2007 Tennessee Men's Basketball Team]
"Not very eVOLved."
[What the bald man hopes to see each morning]
[What Green Bay Packers Fans experience when they watch their club]
"Talk about contradictions. OW Holmes, Sr. invented the word epeolatry, and then condemned it!"
"Her friend was SUCH an epenthetic person."
"Dictionary definition of GEODUCK: "a large edible clam."
My definition of GEODUCK: "a well-grounded University of Oregon student."
[Words said by Jerome's mother in the 5th century to stop him from swearing]
"Jerome, please stop being so VULGATE!"
"If Sir Bevis of Southampton subdued the medieval giant Askapart of Arabia, whom, pray tell, did Sir Butthead subdue?"
[Two priests overheard engaging in a heated argument in the very front of the Cathedral. One said...]
"You stupid APSE."
[Written on Dec. 30, 2006, just after Saddam Hussein's execution]
"President Jerry Ford: Overshadowed both in Life and in Death"
[Title of a best-seller I am planning to write--in the future--on the Song of Solomon]
"The Purpose-Driven SEX Life"
[A Quotation from the President about the Future Course in Iraq, from 1/4/07]
"I'll be ready to outline a strategy that will help the Iraqis achieve the objective of a country that can govern, sustain and defend itself sometime next week," the president said." Hm..what does the "sometime next week" modify?
[Rumination on Martin Luther]
"He shamefully admitted to the head of the pollen study committee that he was a PALYNOLOGICAL liar."
"'Don't be SYLPHISH,' she said to the greedy little nymph."
"He became UNGLUED when he realized that the animals in the picture were UNGULED."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"EPIBALLISTIC: When you REALLY are angry.."
[Statement NOT made by Mrs. Malaprop, but probably appropriate for her]
"Upon seeing a clearcut forest, she exclaimed, 'What an umbrageous situation!'"
[Favorite Christmas Carol of the Aryan Nation]
"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.."
[Rejected Title of 1994 Movie]
"I just love surnames like STEENSMA and ZYLSTRA. It seems like those people must be so...er....indutchrious."
"What would it mean if T.O, instead of getting surgery on his ring finger, had to have it on his MIDDLE FINGER?"
[Designation of boy born in the Moroccan town where Cate Blanchett lay near death in Babel until rescued by helicopter]
"He shall be called a Tazarine."
[Imagined Typo in Program for Handel's Messiah]
"Then shall the eyes of the bling be opened.."
[Reflecting on Ps. 71:3]
"I wonder if the Rev. Mr. Spooner ever called God his 'fock and rortress.'"
"And then there's the bimbo who decided to become a Christian because she heard the preacher tell her, 'Henceforth, you shall be catching men.'"
"From Long's Fearless Dictionary. 'PARKMA: The uncanny ability to find a parking space in crowded urban environments.'"
"If Jesus had been a culicidologist, would he have said to his disciples, 'Henceforth ye shall be catching GNATS?"
"And then there's the story of the gnattily-dressed CULICIDOLOGIST."
"He was aGNATically related to the CULICIDOLOGIST."
"If the author of Ecclesiastes had white hair, would he have begun the work with 'Canities of Canities'"?
"What do you have when a cow is bellowing in pain? An EMUGIENCY."
[Imagined Sign on US 280, outside of San Francisco, at Colma CA]
"If you lived here, you'd be dead now."
[Explaining to Beginning law students the nature of Legal Representation]
"Well, you have Inhouse counsel and then you have Outhouse counsel."
[Further Developing Billphorism # 355]
"And then there's the story of the Bimbo who wanted to become a Christian because she heard of the seminar the pastor would leading on 'the Dating of Daniel.'"
[Reaction in the Astronaut Community on 2/6/07 when Lisa Marie Nowak was arrested on charges of attempted kidnapping and other things, for her alleged role in a love triangle with another astronaut]
"Houston, we've a problem here.."
[An interpretive reading of I Cor. 13:2]
"And if I have pathetic powers..."
[Sign on Nursery Door]
"Register your Prescholars Here"
[Oregon 6A Basketball in 2006-07, in a Nutshell]
"In South Medford, some Sing(u)ler Athletes"
"In Lake Oswego, a Love Fest"
"After sculpting the entablature on a brisk and windy day, the artist shivered and said, 'I'm friezing.'"
"If you went into a Wendy's in Athens and wanted a larger order of fries, would you tell them to 'grecize' the order?"
"If, in fact, God numbers all our steps, does He suffer from arithmomania?"
"If, in fact, God numbers the hairs on our head, is He a tricharithmomaniac?"
"When the optometrists voted at their convention, the ayes always had it."
"If a person is shot while canoeing down a peacefully-flowing river, would the crime be listed as a GLIDE-BY SHOOTING?"
[Reflection on Ps. 71:6]
"The Psalmist says [to God], 'Upon thee I have leaned from my birth'"
"Why wouldn't God respond, 'When the hell are you going to start standing on your OWN two feet?'"
"And then there was the gemologist who loved to sing the hymn, 'The God of Abram prase...'"
"Now I know why there is all the interest among Primate taxonomists in DNA research on primates. They want to figure out which one committed the crime."
[A Paraphrase of Jesus' Words]
"Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there you have politics."
'The pteridologists were chagrined to learn that the networks had decided to cancel the pilot of their favorite show: SPHAGNUM P.I."
"The Dutch pteridologist was incensed with how everyone in the States treated him as a fernner."
"The mite-infested lab really ticked off the acarologist."
"She spent so many years going round and round at Oxford that instead of feeling like an Oxonian she felt more like an Ixionian."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"SPHINCTERGATE: the scandal of which gay person is sleeping with another gay person."
"The jury soon realized that the defendant, an acarologist, was in fact a tickicidal maniac."
"If Eldridge Cleaver had studied the Arctic Phocidae, the name of his book might have been SEAL ON ICE."
"When the Grim Reaper got his prey, he heaved a scythe of relief."
[4/14/07--What you DON'T say to a New Jersey Governor who has governed in the last decade, while in office]
"Break a Leg!"
"Is it really any surprise that the two major families of the Staphylinoidea Superfamiiy of beetles (Order Coleoptera) are the ROVE and the CARRION beetles? Seems that those two words belong together."
"The man called the line of singing birds perching daily on his fence CANOROUS ROW."
"When he shot the Tachybaptus ruficollis, he realized he had made a GREBOUS mistake."
"The biggest lie men and women who are dating tell each other: 'I've fully dealt with my past.'"
"It was not unexpected that Sir John Hooker (17th century) wrote about FALCATE plants."
"Would it be accurate it characterize bird droppings on one's head as a FLY-BY SHOOTING?"
"Little Johnny O'Sullivan, a loyal Catholic, wanted to study MARIOLOGY but, because he had a stutter, he was sent off to the swamps to combat tropical diseases."
"Immediately upon seeing the remains of the harvested potato crop in the familiar fields of his father's estate, he let out a sigh and said, 'Haulm, sweet haulm."
"If Glen Campbell had been a geologist, would his song have been called 'Like a Limestone Cowboy'?"
"Was it really unexpected that one of the greatest American ichthyologists of the 19th century was Theodore GILL?"
[Line attributed to Julius Caesar's Resident Chemist]
"There is a nucleotide in the affairs of men..."
[Reflection on Acts 5:1-11]
"I wonder if Ananias' wife was drop-dead gorgeous..."
"When the champion wrestler faced his short, muscular, thickset opponent, he thought he was in for a PYKNIC."
"Americans refuse to wait in line, but they wait in line at Starbucks."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"PROWESS: the front of a boat with a feminine name."
[Words spoken by a contestant at the Independence Day Nathan's Hot Dog-eating contest]
"Give Me Uberty or Give me Death."
[Turning the 15 year-old John Milton upon his head]
"Let us, with an UGSOME mind,/ Praise the Lord, for He is kind."
"After Shakespeare's death, did he become the Bard of Paradise?"
"The Greeks said that two things were certain. Death and taxes. I say that in 2007 one thing is certain. Starbucks stock goes down."
"Once September had gone, the nursery owner was glad to say 'Hosta la vista' to his summer hardy herbaceous perennials."
[Reflecting on a Popular Cliche]
"The only problem with Michael Vick in the past four years is that he DID have a dog in the fight.."
[News Flash! An ancient Palestinian text was just discovered, a text that seemed to be a sort of "first draft" of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Let's listen in to Jesus' words...]
"Consider the trailing begonias of the field.... No, that can't be right!"
"Consider the azaleas of the field....Hm...better."
Then there was a several line break in the text and we resume, with Jesus seeming to address Simon Peter
"Shut up, Peter! I am doing the best I can!! You try to come up with a gnomic statement every once in a while and you will see how difficult it is!"
[Reflecting on hybrids in the plant world]
"If one tried to hybridize a fuchsia and a yew, would you have a FUCHYEW?"
"The leaves of the Gunnera are repulsively large, quite rhubarbative."
"After the storm, when viewing the destroyed trellis/pergola, she became absolutely wisterical."
"When I began studying trees, I was so ignorant that I didn't know an ash from my elbow."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"Professors at UC Santa Cruz: Limacine Liberals."
[My argument for attaining precise knowledge, if that is possible]
"Unless you have precision at the beginning of the chain of knowledge or argument, you will become fuzzy along the way and then give up in discouragement."
[Proposed Sign outside an Apartment Complex?]
"Apartments for Paraplegics: Walk-ins Accepted"
"As one Pawpaw tree said to another: How's it hangin'?"
"Are Georgia municipal judges properly called Justices of the Peach?"
"Senator Larry Craig--he puts new meaning into the concept of Stall Tactics..."
"Whenever I buy mustard, I follow the Gulden Rule"
"Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who said that man's life in the state of nature was 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,' obviously never lived in the state of nature."
"He knew his ministry among paraplegics was doomed to fail when the first hymn he had them sing was 'Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.'"
"He knew that his ministry among prostitutes was doomed to fail when the first hymn they requested to be sung was 'All the Way My Savior Leads Me.'"
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"REMISS: A Divorced Woman"
[Metaphors that Don't Quite "Work"]
"Let's Get Down to Brass Roots..."
"A Koan: Imagine the Sound of One Tree Falling.."
"He Didn't have a Pissoir to Pee in.."
"The Grass is Always Greener On The Fence.."
"He Painted Himself Into A Pickle.."
[Printed at the bottom of a Menu in an Oregon Restaurant]
"Parties of 8 or more will be charged a gratitudy of 18%."
[Reflecting on a definition in the OED]
"Every cat I know is an ombrophobe; why confine that beautiful word to plants?"
"Her new physician, a Greek gentleman named Dr. Tomos, was in fact a cutting-edge surgeon."
[Responding to the news story of 11/16/07 regarding a lawsuit filed by descendants of George "the Gipper" Gipp for negligence in exhuming his remains]
"They say they exhumed the remains of the Gipper to determine if he fathered a child out of wedlock; we really know they exhumed the body to put him back in Notre Dame's backfield--because even a dead star is better than what Notre Dame has this year..."
"Today some guys from the local high school wrestling team came to the door to raise money for their ventures. They were selling cookies. I told them to tell the coach to sell us celery juice, or something like that. But come to think of it, maybe they really want to raise money..."
"May we Call the Rigors of Breast Enhancement Surgery the School of Hard Knockers...?"
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"FLYING WEDGIE: When football players with very tight pants lock arms and run furiously in a v-shaped formation."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"MERRILL LUNCH: A Major Financial Services Firm, Over the Noon-Hour"
"An Apparent First Draft of Aristotle's Prior Analytics has been found. Particularly of interest to scholars is what is probably Aristotle's first attempt at his famous syllogism. It reads:
"ALL MEN ARE MORTALS
SOCRATES IS A FISH
THEREFORE, I AM CONFUSED."
[The notion of settled precedent--to Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas]
"When the results of the 2008 Presidential and Congressional Elections are in, conservative legal scholars will have to go into Exile--with their version of the Constitution already waiting for them..."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"A practical person who has a lot of different things pulling at her is FRAGMATIC."
"If she is getting desperate in doing all the things, she is FRANTMATIC."
"If a person is really angry, s/he is FURITATED."
"I Know why the CIA has been MIA in dealing intelligently with important national issues in the last few years--their best agents were all trying to catch Jason Bourne."
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"The Latest Portmanteau Word-- A 'Lamb/Llama' hybrid is a Llamb.'"
"What he loved about his drinking friend was how BUNG-HO he was..."
"The chronology of Dick Vitale's vocal chord surgery:
1. Dec. 4, 2007--last college basketball game he broadcast before surgery;
2. Dec. 18, 2007--surgery;
3. January 13, 2008--first words spoken after surgery;
4. February 6, 2008--first game broadcast after surgery--Duke v. North Carolina.
MY COMMENT: It must have been the most wonderful Christmas his family ever experienced.."
"What Roger Clemens failed to realize is that the only difference between ICON and CON is an 'I'."
[The symbol of the Olympic Games, for those who delight in expectoration]
"The eternal phlegm"
[A fast spit-ball pitcher]
"Word has reached us of the development of a new measuring instrument called the pneumameter. Derived from the Greek word for "Spirit," this device is used to discover the level of spirituality at Christian Colleges [I taught at one from 1990-96]. You just go onto campus, ask for volunteers, and then measure the spirituality level on campus. The only question, however, is that the makers of the pneumameter aren't sure into which orifice you stick the thing to determine the level of spirituality...."
"I heaved a sigh of relief when my friend said that her optometrist had his doctoral degree from the University of EYEOWA."
"In Field of Dreams the motto was 'If You Build it, They Will Come.' In fact, in reality, the message is, 'If you Build it, You Will Go Bankrupt.'"
"I became suspicious when the apartment complex manager advertised specious rooms."
"My friend advised me to join a group of really smart people. She thought its name was menses."
"Can One Say that Famous Old Necklaces are Also Known As Venerable Beads?"
"If you get thrown into a mental hospital for saying the following ditty: 'Mors mortis morti mortem nisi morte tulisset, Aeternae vitae janua clausa foret,' plead polyptoton."
[An Assignment for a Rhetoric Class]
"Analyze the following completely, from a rhetorical point of view. 'He suffered for a long time under the catachresis of the Catholic Church.'"
"Would it be correct to call the last century of painful, declining Turkish rule in the 19th century, the last days of the OTTOMOAN Empire?"
[After completing my taxes for the year 2007, my new name for the IRS]
"The Infernal Revenue Service"
"Those who celebrate the Beat poet and writer Jack, the author of On the Road and other things, are best known as KEROUWACKIES."
"Would a person who says, 'Let us now praise famous eggs,' be an oologist?"
[Reflecting on the 7/4/08 Santa Barbara-area Brush Fires]
"The stories say that some of the brush hasn't been cleared in 20 years. Precisely the time that Ronald Reagan stopped cleaning it in the area..."
"LOOMINESCENCE: Looking up, from Boulder, at the Rocky Mountains Illuminated by Night"
"The scoop is that seemingly invincible American swimmer Michael Phelps' only vulnerability is in the breast stroke. Luckily for him, there are several men waiting to show him how to improve in this department."
"When three bagpipe players didn't show up for the service, the 'Kirkin' o' the Tartans' became the 'Carkin' o' the Tartans.'"
"George Washington on the Cherry Tree Incident: 'But, dad, it really was an axident.'"
"Title of a Person in Authority Who Always Wrecks Your Plans: YOUR THWARTSHIP."
[The major lesson learned from the naming of the Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate]
"Success Is Realized By BIDEN Your Time."
"The Latest TV Game Show: 'Stump the Arborist.'"
"Directions to an ancient English Church: Where the yew is, there you are."
"Today, September 13, 2008, the No. 1 USC Trojans wiped out No. 5 Ohio State, 35-3. Conclusion? The Trojans aren't ranked high enough.."
"In the several votes of Christ Episcopal Church vestry, sitting under the Taxus baccata, the tree which adorns thousands of Anglican Churches in England, the yews always carried the day."
"My family story: my three brothers have been successful, focusing on quantum acquisitions; I, the poorer one, have dedicated myself to quondam acquisitions."
[Regarding News Story on 9/17/08]
"Carly Fiorina said yesterday that Sarah Palin wasn't qualified to run Hewlett Packard. Hm. She ought to know."
"The teacher eagerly described the up-and-down history of the yo-yo."
"If the Tin Woodsman had appeared in Hamlet, might Hamlet have told him, 'Get thee to a stannary'?"
"The wild anticipation of children for Christmas gifts: WAITING FOR CADEAU."
"After describing sibilants, plosives and other technical terms of linguistics, the linguist decided to try for a title that would make his book a best-seller. He chose:
OUT OF AFFRICATES."
"LEONARD SEPOY: Spock's Cousin from India."
"PANCRATIUM REVISITED: New name for the Mixed-martial Arts in an attempt to appeal to a high-brow audience."
"From Long's Dictionary. YOURUBE: When a hick or redneck uploads a video on the internet."
"After witnessing the the missteps of the McCain-Palin campaign, Howard Gardner must be thinking of following up his 1985 classic book with a new one tentatively entitled The Theory of Multiple Stupidities."
"After his introduction to the general study of languages, he knew that his life's goal was to be a cunning linguist."
"If he had lived hundreds of years ago and was fond of reporting on intrigues behind various Coats of Arms, might the ace reporter's name have been HERALDIC RIVERA?"
"The master gardener's favorite Christmas Carol was 'When Shepherds Watched their Phlox By Night..."
"Would the keeper of the royal bed be called YOUR FLOCCULENCY?"
"He was unavailable to join his ex for any dates in October, but he was game for a Thanksgiving dinner."
"According to the Four Spiritual Laws [a publication put out by Campus Crusade for Christ beginning about 40 years ago], 'God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.' But here is the question: 'If God had a rataplan for your life, would you be marching to the beat of a different drummer?"
"If the author of the famous work An Essay on the Principle of Population grew up in the vicinity of liquid asphalt pits, would he have been called Thomas Maltha?"
[What a person far too concerned about his/her clothes really hears when Galatians 2:20 is read]
"I have been sprucified with Christ, yet I live."
"Digging Up the Body of Jack Benny would be an EXHUMORATION."
"The most treacherous driving venue on earth is not LeMans, not Daytona, but WINCO. Trying to negotiate around 350- pounders taking up aisles, others going the wrong direction, others blocking your way and giving you queer smiles as if you are supposed to be the one to clarify their life's confusion... takes all that you have, and more..."
"If James Joyce were alive today and writing about the NBA, rather than about Stephen Daedalus, would he entitle a book, The Portrait of Artest as a Young Man?"
[After the 2008 US Presidential Election]
"Biden is risin' but Palin is palin' in comparison."
"At the retirement party for John Q. Hoover, vacuum salesman, he was asked how he would characterize his professional life, in a few words. His response, 'It sucked.'"
[Washington v. Washington State Football Game 2008]
"The Rotten Apple Cup"
"Jesus' theology in Mark 8:34 is preposterous."
"MY POSSIBLE LIFE MOTTO: 'Qui scribit, bis legit.'"
"FROM LONG'S DICTIONARY: Haptogropism: Carrying Haptotropism just a little too far..."
[Reflection on the 2008 Army-Navy football game, December 6, 2008]
"Navy bested Army 34-0, but Army sure looked cool in their camouflage football uniforms. Perhaps that was the problem...they hid themselves on the field too well."
"He discovered that trying to understand organic chemistry was a real 'intelluctation.'"
[Imagined Holiday Greeting Outside of One of Nevada's Legal Brothels]
"Meretricious to You!"
[Title for Essays Reflecting on Song of Solomon 5:2-8]
"Learning the Hard Way"
[Reflecting on the YouTube Video entitled "Grape Lady"]
"A real fall from grapes..."
"And then Mrs. Heavy called together her three sons, Languid, Torpid, and Pinguid and her daughter Gravid."
[Line in a 1/4/09 news story mentioning New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's withdrawal from being Obama's Commerce Secretary]
"As governor, he [Richardson] has kept up an international profile with a specialty in dealing with rouge nations."
My Question: "But would he have had such a high profile had he only dealt with beige or azure nations?"
"The Hematologist's Favorite Hymn: 'There is a Fountain Filled with Blood..'"
"The Physical Therapist's Favorite Hymn: 'Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus!"
"I received an email inviting me to a seminar entitled 'Accounting for Lawyers.' I mused that in most people's minds there really is NO accounting for lawyers."
"After downing a few beers, he was sitisfied."
"SARCAUSTIC: Something that burns as well as tears..."
[Reading of Ps. 130:7 in the KJV, by one who works in lead]
"For with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plumbeous redemption."
"When Jesus said that even stones would shout out if people were forbidden from praising him (Luke 19:38-40), was he talking about possible Shouts Of Glebe?"
"If someone becomes lost in outer space, all that is left to do is to write the orbituary."
"Would Robin Hood and his merry men rightly be called a ludibund?"
"Well, here comes the Androgyne family, with their children Pat, Kevin and Leslie."
"In the PAC-10 Track & Field Championship (May 16, 2009), Galen Rupp turned up the heat on his colleague Shadrack Biwott and roasted him.
"Few know that the Beachboys classic, when first performed in Compton, was really named
'Help me Sharhonda.'"
"If John Steinbeck had been raised on Highway 96 on the Colorado/Kansas border, his most ambitious novel might have been entited 'East of Eads.'"
"If the fig leaves used by Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness were leaves of Ficus carica, they might tend to reveal more than conceal. Where is a Gunnera when you need it? Ah, but then again, maybe the Gunnera would be a little prickly. Too bad Cucumber Magnolias, Magnolia acuminata, weren't around."
"Answer fools with facts"
[Inscription on the Oregon State Capitol Sculpture; Facing Court Street in Salem, OR]
"Valiant Men...Thrust..." True?
"If they planned to build an aquarium next to a Lowe's Department Store, would the area then be known as Lowe's and Fishes?"
"The favorite hymn of Christians who grumble? Amazing Grouse"
"Sign 50 feet away from the entrance of a nearby hospital: PATIENT PARKING"
"So, would a sign 20 feet away from entrance of same hospital be: 'IMPATIENT PARKING'"?
[The Belief System of Writers Emigrating from Sri Lanka to Canada]
"Ondaatje recapitulates phylogeny"
[On the Powerful Mind of the Great Anthropologist]
"Like a Boas Constrictor"
"Was Obi Wan Kenobi a Man of Pallid Visage?"
"Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite--certainly an emphatic apophatic theologian."
"Too bad it was Tim Tebow's cheeks, rather than his team, that overcame the world--against Alabama" [Dec. 5., 2009]
"The choir had to truncate its piece so that it became known as the Kyrie Elision."
"If Johnny Cash were alive today (January 5, 2010) and writing songs about the University of Nebraska football team, he would definitely write one titled 'A Man Named Suh.'"
"What most people don't know is that the various ethnic groups in Mali have historically been identified with certain professions. For example, three of them are the Bambara, the Fulani and the Bozo. The Bambara have historically been farmers, the Fulani have been herders, and the Bozo, of course, have been clowns."
"So moved was she in reading Psalm 116:8 that she burst into tears."
[How you know whether or not your pastor is in cahoots with Big Pharma]
"If s/he recites the Lord's Prayer and slips up as follows: 'Give us this day our daily MEDS..'"
[Entry in Dictionary of Islamic History and Pharmacological Terms]
"Alprazolam--Famous Anxious Abbasid Caliph"
[From Long's Fearless Dictionary]
"ILLITERATURE: Bad Books Given to People Who Can't Read"
"Talk about dilemmas. How is an older single lady who supports BYU's athletics supposed to wear her favorite jersey?"
[The Title of a Blank Book]
"The Likeable Lawyer"
[Ideas for Epic-Inspired T-Shirts]
"Imagine Mulciber Falling," Paradise Lost I. 740
"Round he throws his baleful eyes," Paradise Lost I.56
"Imagine Achilles Sitting," Iliad I. 330
[The field biologist's favorite song]
"Biome on the Range"
"If a book were entitled 'She Was Not Unconcerned,' might it be an example of litoterature?"
"Would the town fathers of the Nevada municipality of Pahrump be rightly called 'Pahrumpapas?'"
[One of life's delicious paradoxes]
"You can't get anywhere without listening to people.
You can't get anywhere by just listening to people."
[Words spoken by mother to teen-ager who keeps staring at him/herself in the mirror]
"Will you please stop nasal gazing?"
"The restaurant patrons were surprised to receive a dousing of water from the waiter. When asked to explain himself, he said that he merely wanted to 'wet their appetite.'"
"At the State Fair two women won important contests: Brie won the artisan bread-making contest, and Limpa was victorious in cheese-making."
[Imagined Sign Outside of a Medical Office]
"Breast Enhancement Clinic: Create a Mammary.."
[Easily misconstrued phrases]
"He was decked out in finest fallalery."
"She delivered a favillous performance."
[Definitely not best-sellers]
Your Second 10,000 Chinese Characters
A Sanskrit Grammar for Bilingual Albanian-Icelandic Speakers
Fun with the Tibetan Secondary Suffixes
A Mathematician's "translation" of Ps. 34: 8; "Count and see that the Lord is good..."
A Mathematician's preferred verse--Ps. 119:18--"Were I to count them..."
A prayer to God, based on Ps. 34: 8, "Our geusioleptic God...."
[Very Brief Doctoral Dissertations]
Nascent Liberalism in the American Tea Party Movement
The Obama Plan to Eliminate the Federal Deficit
Would an academic emphasis on studying the function of "a, e, i, o, and u" in English properly be called a 'VOWEL MOVEMENT'?"
"If you are in the neighborhood of a fish habitat would it be proper to say you are in the PISCINITY?"
If the famous boy pharoah had been buried wearing a knitted stocking-cap tapered and closed at both ends, would he have been known as
"From LONG'S FEARLESS DICTIONARY:
'Pho-Magnon Man--a Noodle-thin Human Ancestor Found in Ancient Viet Nam.'"
"After Rajon Rondo recorded a career-high 24 assists for the Boston Celtics on 10/29/10, I wonder if his teammates will now call him 'Help me Rondo..'"
[Imagined conversation between husband and wife after the bomb from Yemen was intercepted on 10/29/10]
"Well, honey, I think sanity requires we cancel our planned vacation to Sana."
"Recently a person commended me on my command of English. She said I was so 'articulated.' Yes, as I thought of it, the arm bone's connected to the shoulder bone...."
[Imagined coversation after John, Jesus' disciple, has just written The Book of Revelation]
JOHN: "Hey, you other disciples, I just saw some heavy-duty stuff. Dragons and women on thrones and plagues and horses. I am, like totally blown away."
OTHERS: "John, don't get so upset. It's not like it's the end of the world...."
"Scholars describe the Neolithic Japanese period known as the 'Jomon' ('cord-markings') culture as 'semi-sedentary.'"
MY COMMENT: That must mean they watched TV and played video games only part of the time.
"When many people read the 1953 article "Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids," which proposed the double helix or spiral staircase structure of the DNA molecule, they thought it was just a Crick of shit."
"After an acrimonious exchange with a fellow linguist at a professional conference, one professor attacked another, beating him to a participle."
[A word for those who would rather look inside..]
"Under their haruspices.."
[Reflecting on the tonal character of the Chinese language, connected to a memorable JFK phrase]
"A rising tone lifts all chuan."
[Reflecting on the study of Sanskrit, which I began a few months ago]
"I love languages, the deader the better..."
[Reflecting on conversations I have had with people about their "ADD"-family members]
"My problem: Attention SURPLUS Disorder"
[Thinking about the Task of a Historian; Inspired by the Nevada Museum of Art--12/17/10]
"First, see the LAYERS of a situation
Then, see a particular in its LAIR."
"Human misfortune is always a boon for someone."
Sign Outside of a Church: "Simply Blessed"
Sign Outside of a Salon: "Simply Blissed"
(Imagined) Sign Outside of a Bar: "Simply Blitzed"
"Before Dr. Bonebrake, the anatomist, could remodel his office, he had to take all his skeletons out of the closet."
"The next repetitive stress injury will be to grocery checkers, who will, in a few years, begin to complain about hearing loss and damage due to repetitive 'pings' every few seconds as they were ringing up items."
[On the irrelevance of paper newspapers]
"Oregonian (print) Headline Friday, February 11, 2011: 'Mubarak Stays...'
Online News Sources, Friday, February 11, 2011: 'Mubarak Resigns'"
"President Obama will visit Intel in Hillsboro Oregon on Friday, February 18, 2011 to highlight the centrality of technology, science and math education for America's future. Question: Why aren't any of the Presidents, who promote science and technology, scientists or technology people? Doesn't their speech belie their reality?"
"YOULUBE: Changing Your Oil Yourself."
"His scholarly work on generators electrified fellow scientists."
[Imagined Book Group of the Future]
MODERATOR: "Ok all, let's come to order. Marcia will be reading from her genetic profile tonight. You can all follow along in your own profile. We will begin at base pair 406,000,000, and only read the first letter."
MARCIA SPEAKS: "Ok, here we go... T, T, G, A, A, T, C, G..."
A gasp went up from the group:
EAGER QUESTIONER: "Did you say 'T' at base pair 406,000,006? My, isn't that about the most exciting thing you have ever heard?"
"Some scientists still assert that there is really only a fat chance that the human microbiome plays a big role in obesity."
[A Historical Billphorism]
"The legendary Johnny Appleseed (1774-1845) was a pioneer nurseryman who introduced the apple, in large numbers, to IL, OH and IN. His birth name was John Chapman. One of his descendants was Charles C. Chapman, after whom Chapman University (CA) was named when he gave large contributions to the school in the 1920s and 1930s. Charles Chapman (1853-1944) made his millions in Southern CA from, among other things, the growing, marketing and sale of Valencia oranges. MY COMMENT: I wonder if the Chapman family realizes that comparing the work of Johnny and Charles is like comparing apples and oranges...?"
[News story from March 15, 2011]
The Drug Enforcement Agency confirmed that it had seized Georgia's supply of sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs used in an execution. Apparently there was concern about how the stockpile was imported and whether the drug was fit for its intended use. MY COMMENT: "One needs to be careful about these things. The DEA should be commended for their vigilance. Otherwise, who is to say? The drug might even hurt someone."
"The Columbia Gorge: Absolutely Gorge-ous"
"FROM LONG'S DICTIONARY: 'Bialy,' a small roll that plays a small role in Polish Ashkenazi culture."
"When Sam Hill (1857-1931), who built the marvelous Maryhill Museum/house overlooking the Columbia River, was out building his roads as leader of the Washington State 'Good Roads' movement early in the 20th century, his wife often wondered where in the Sam Hill he had gone.."
"After much reflection, he still could not make up his mind whether or not to enter Indiana University's doctoral program in decision science."
"From Long's Dictionary: 'Petrafied'--terrified in the ancient Jordanian city."
Recently Discovered Naval Battle in December 1944-January 1945: The Battle of the Bilge.
FLASH NEWS: A strand of Mitt Romney's DNA was recently discovered and disclosed. The sequence of Base Pairs was:
AT TA CG TA MONEY TA GC CG AT...
Bernard--a very DEVOTOED Twain Scholar of the Last Generation
When Gov. Chris Christie of NJ recently vetoed NJ's gay marriage bill, and then assured gay couples that certain legal benefits that only married couples have would also apply to them, he was accused by critics of wanting to have his cake and eat it too. From the looks of things, he has had an eaten lots of cake in the last several years.
"When we saw laughing his way all the way to 100 years old, we recognized his longlevity."
"After 2012 Conference Tournament losses by each of the the top four teams in the country in NCAA Men's Basketball (Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, and North Carolina),
the NCAA Championship Bracket-makers decided that there will be no # 1 seeds."