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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What a Friggin' Nerd am I...

Yes, I'm very happy that I received an "A" on one midterm, in the class that really scared me (Reference Services), for which we had to find answers to research questions using both online and print sources. I slaved over that project, crawling through the reference section of not only St. Kate's library, but the downtown Minneapolis Public Library (which is a central repository) and the University of Minnesota's Walter and Wilson libraries as well. (Walter is the science, mathematics, and technology library - visit it if you can, for it's been restored, and has beautiful woodwork and high plaster ceilings.)

But here is one of the things that I'm really proud of (gloating to come): For the question that asked for the etymology of the word "doh," in addition to finding a use of the word as an exclamation (on a radio program in 1947), and the first English use of the word to mean a musical tone in the mid-18th century, I scanned the novel Day of the Locust by Nathanael West to see if the term appeared in there. Why? Because I knew that there was a character called Homer Simpson in the novel.

Nerdy, nerdy, nerdy! Well, the word "doh" isn't in the novel, but nevertheless I put down my effort to search the novel in my answer, and the professor placed an exclamation point next to it. When I mentioned it in class, everyone sat there like I was from outer space. I have no idea whether or not the creators of The Simpsons took the name "Homer Simpson" from West's novel. Does anyone out there know?

(I'd research it myself, but now I've got a bunch of questions to work on for the final, plus another midterm. Gaaaa. The Galapagos are calling me...two more months...)

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24 Comments:

Blogger obfuscati said...

way cool! i love nerdy stuff and a delight in etymology is one of my secret sins.

congrats on the A.

tzjign: tazer the djinn

March 06, 2007 11:30 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Thank you! Etymology is not one of my specialties, but I did some work for Anatoly Liberman, a U of M professor and language scholar who is compiling an encyclopedia of the origin of English words (that was a long time ago - I don't know if he's completed it).

March 07, 2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I have no idea whether or not the creators of The Simpsons took the name "Homer Simpson" from West's novel. Does anyone out there know?

Nope. Matt Groening's dad was named Homer.

March 07, 2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often refer to F's as one-legged A's. Does it logically follow that an A is a two-legged F?
Scotius

March 07, 2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Interesting. But how about "Simpson"?

I suppose it could be a total coincidence, just as there's a gazillion John Smiths or Richard Andersons out there.

I often refer to F's as one-legged A's. Does it logically follow that an A is a two-legged F?

Only if you assume that because a pirate has one leg, a man with two legs is necessarily a two-legged pirate.

(Did I pass?) ;-)

March 07, 2007 3:04 PM  
Anonymous J-Dog said...

An "A"? I kind of knew you were smart though... Reason for the post - Shelley at Retrospectacle /a ScienceBlog, is asking for links, and I think you two are a good match... and no, not like Janie and her friend...
So, if you are interested, send her a link to your blog!

JD

March 07, 2007 3:19 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Hey, thanks, J-Dog. I'll send her the mother ship and the triumvirate.

March 07, 2007 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My given name Scott is derived from an ancient Irish root word meaning "raider, plunderer, bandit," or "pirate."
I have two legs.
Scotius

March 07, 2007 6:03 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

So I flunked? :-( Haha.

March 07, 2007 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In spite of the derivation of my name, I am not a pirate. My recent ancestors were farmers. This is more in keeping with my first name, the one I don't go by.
Scotius

March 07, 2007 11:35 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

In spite of the derivation of my name, I am not a pirate. My recent ancestors were farmers. This is more in keeping with my first name, the one I don't go by.
Scotius


Sure, Gregory. You go with that.

March 08, 2007 2:04 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Dangit.

George, not Gregory.

March 08, 2007 2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Dan, Gregory is a shepherd. I neither confirm nor deny that my first name is George. It could be derived from a Celtic word for farmer, or an Albanian word, or Algonquin.
Scotius

March 08, 2007 7:36 AM  
Blogger Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

Wow. I genuflect in the glow of your nerdiness.

March 08, 2007 8:59 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I got nothing on Dan and Scotius - I'm not familiar with name origins.

If you want to meet a nerd, you should meet John sometime. ;-) Mr. walking Encyclopedia Britannica.

March 08, 2007 9:11 AM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

Kristine,

even in my drunken stupor this evening I have to bow to your superior nerdiness.

Kevin

March 08, 2007 10:07 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Drunken stupor? Wait a minute! How is everything going?

March 09, 2007 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:02 am-that's a time good Christians are in bed, hiding from the devil.
As you may know, your name is derived from the word "Christian." Ain't that a laugh? You are as much a Christian as I am a pirate. You probably have Christians in your recent ancestry. My piratical forebears are more distant.
Your surname is Old English for "hare pasture," or "rabbit meadow."

March 09, 2007 12:20 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

As you may know, your name is derived from the word "Christian." Ain't that a laugh?

I do know. For one thing, when I was fourteen, my pastor (the one I and everyone just adored - great guy) came and had a talk with me about my progress toward confirmation, and he mentioned the etymology of my name. "Christian" means "annointed one," and the Greek word in the scriptures that the KJB usually translates as Messiah is actually "the annointed." I'm pretty sure anyway - a little rusty on this stuff.

You probably have Christians in your recent ancestry. Of course! The rest of my family are Christians except for the occasional atheist (closeted or not).

Your surname is Old English for "hare pasture,"

From the hare pasture - I knew that, too. What is strange is that my father is German. His mother made a big deal of her German heritage; however, I did a little digging (very little) and I wonder if her ancestors didn't spend time in England, or if they were German at all.

I'm not really into geneaology, and it's too bad, because the Mpls Public Library is a good resource for it. They have geneaology workshops on Saturdays and a special reference librarian scheduled then, the subject has become so popular.

March 09, 2007 8:59 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Christian" means "annointed one," and the Greek word in the scriptures that the KJB usually translates as Messiah is actually "the annointed."

And "messiah" is from the Hebrew word "mashiach," meaning "anointed."

It's all the same.

March 09, 2007 9:10 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I just took another Internet quiz about religious literacy and it stated that Messiah meant "an accepted leader," i.e., annointed, so yep. But that would imply annointed by the people rather than a divine source. Interesting.

March 11, 2007 10:55 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

And I aced that quiz, too.

March 11, 2007 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen any number of people "well oiled" after a night at the pub.
Scotius

March 12, 2007 9:24 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Now you're talking! :-)

March 12, 2007 4:27 PM  

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