12 comments posted · 15 followers · following 0

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 1 reply · +7 points

The text is "until you 'onk your breakfast", "honk" being UK slang for vomit. Mark's pronunciation of 'onk is open to confusion. But also some really interesting linguistic questions about, for instance, how much longer till people start changing it to Ankh for exactly the above reasons 😂

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Making Mon... · 0 replies · +22 points

An important point about Mr. Fusspot - he's not walking around with his toy, he's sitting, quite happily, and being propelled, backwards, across the floor by the motion of the toy.

I can't blame the crowd for staring 🤣

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Making Mon... · 1 reply · +14 points

My dad ran a business in the 80s where he put a computer in the back of a van and drove around to various small businesses who didn't own any computers, and ran their payrolls for them on location. It was an idea with a limited window of usefulness, but it was extremely useful in that brief window, as computers of that era were far too expensive for a small business to invest in. It's a useful way to handle things someone always needs, but no one needs all the time, in any world :)

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Making Mon... · 0 replies · +13 points

I believe Genua is inspired by New Orleans, so the French there is Creole.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Wintersmit... · 2 replies · +24 points

"Frost to fire" isn't something Tiffany gets from the Summer Lady, Granny taught her that one earlier.

She picked up her cup of hot tea, curling her hand around it. Then she reached out with her other hand and took Tiffany’s hand.
“Ready?” said Granny.
“For wha—” Tiffany began, and then she felt her hand get hot. The heat spread up her arm, warming it to the bone.
“Feelin’ it?”
The warmth died away. And Granny Weatherwax, still watching Tiffany’s face, turned the teacup upside down.
The tea dropped out in one lump. It was frozen solid.
Tiffany was old enough not to say, “How did you do that?” Granny Weatherwax didn’t answer silly questions or, for that matter, many questions at all.
“You moved the heat,” Tiffany said. “You took the heat out of the tea and moved it through you to me, yes?”
“Yes, but it never touched me,” said Granny triumphantly. “It’s all about balance, do you see? Balance is the trick. Keep the balance and—” She stopped. “You’ve ridden on a seesaw? One end goes up, one end goes down. But the bit in the middle, right in the middle, that stays where it is. Upness and downness go right through it. Don’t matter how high or low the ends go, it keeps the balance.” She sniffed. “Magic is mostly movin’ stuff around.”
“Can I learn that?”
“I daresay. It’s not hard, if you get your mind right.”

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Thud!': Pa... · 1 reply · +12 points

There's a cave/cavern in Derbyshire in England known as the Devil's Arse. I was filled with joy on learning that they host Christmas carols there every year :D

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Going Post... · 1 reply · +18 points

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the whole segment, but I feel like, if he had been writing in that era, or writing the thoughts or words of a character in this story, this context would be more relevant as an explanation. As it is, this is an authorial choice, made in 2004, to use and to focus on the fat, not very bright, greedy, and wealthy man, in the omniscient narrative. It's worth interrogating that choice through modern eyes, as well as examining the history of the trope, since it was made in a modern context. If nothing else, it demonstrates that the stereotype of fat as a moral failing, representative of unthinking greed, is still recognisable and accepted enough to be used in popular fiction. It's been partly eclipsed by different interpretations of what fat represents, but it's still around.

The footnote bothers me slightly because, after explicitly saying "it's wrong to judge by appearances", it then goes on to provide two examples where making a judgement based on someone's appearance is at least implied to be the correct thing to do. This is, of course, to provide a humorous juxtaposition of ideas, but it still leans towards saying "it's wrong to judge by appearances, except sometimes when you think the judgement is obviously correct". Which so devalues the criticism of judging by appearances as to override it entirely.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Going Post... · 1 reply · +9 points

Ubj nobhg "evqvphybhf"? Nf va, jbegul bs evqvphyr. Hayvxr znal bgure jbeqf hfrq gb vafhyg, guvf qbrfa'g unir n fcrpvsvp yvathvfgvp uvfgbel bs orvat hfrq gb ynory n cnegvphyne znetvanyvfrq tebhc.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Going Post... · 6 replies · +6 points

Sadly I can't track down a citation to back this up, but I SWEAR I've heard that there's storage rooms in several major museums that contain the removed penii from various Greek and Roman statues that fell victim to the Victorian ideas about nudity.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Going Post... · 2 replies · +7 points

This is all so weird to me, because we don't really do payments in the mail these days. Australia has a system called Bpay, that all the utilities and banks and a lot of smaller businesses use. You can log into your bank account, provide a biller id code and a personal id code (for that biller) , and use bpay to make your bill payments. It's so common, businesses will print their bpay id and your reference number for listing them on the bottom of your bills.

I don't have a cheque book, and never have (I'm 37). I've never needed one. Payment in the mail in Australia is uncommon enough that, if I had to do it, I'd have to go into my bank and get them to give me a bank cheque!