Wednesday, June 29, 2011


finical [ˈfɪnɪkəl] a.

1.) Of persons, their actions and attributes: Over-nice or particular, affectedly fastidious, excessively punctilious or precise, in speech, dress, manners, methods of work, etc. Also of things: Over-scrupulously finished; excessively or affectedly fine or delicate in workmanship (O.E.D. 2nd Edition).

Etymology: Probably from fine, from Middle English fin, from Old French, from Latin finis, end, supreme degree.

"—Oswald: What dost thou know me for?
—Kent: A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud,
shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy,
worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking, whoreson,
glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of
good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave,
beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch;
one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deny the
least syllable of thy addition." (King Lear, William Shakespeare, ~1605).

(Lear and Cordelia, Ford Madox Brown, ~1852)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


effete [ɪˈfit] a.

1.) Of animals: That has ceased to bring forth offspring. Obs.
2.) transf. Of material substances: That has lost its special quality or virtue; exhausted, worn out.
3.) fig. Of persons in an intellectual sense, of systems, etc.: That has exhausted its vigour and energy; incapable of efficient action. Also, of persons: weak, ineffectual; degenerate. More recently, effeminate (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Latin effetus, worn out, exhausted: ex- + fetus, bearing young, pregnant.

"Such a Hyper-magical is this our poor old Real world; which some take upon them to pronounce effete, prosaic! Friend, it is thyself that art all withered up into effete Prose, dead as ashes: know this (I advise thee); and seek passionately, with a passion little short of desperation, to have it remedied" (Diamond Necklace, Thomas Carlyle, 1837).

(La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même, Marcel Duchamp, 1923)

Note: this word does not mean sophisticated or snobbish. This is a misuse due to its similarity to the words "elite" and "effeminate". (As you can see above, even the O.E.D. is beginning to yield to the misuse.) This confusion has led Bryan A. Garner to declare "effete" a "skunked term", saying: "as with other skunked terms, the thing to do is simply to avoid using it" (Garner's Modern American Usage 3rd Ed.). I'm going to use it in a thesis chapter, though, (in the proper way) and see if my Professor comments on it. Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 27, 2011


desuetude [ˈdɛswɪˌtud, -ˌtyud] n.

1.) Cessation to be accustomed; discontinuance of practice or habit (A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson, 1755).

Etymology: French désuétude, from Latin desuetudo, from desuetus, past participle of desuescere, to put out of use: de- + suescere, to become accustomed.

"He too returned to his old life at school and all his novel enterprises fell to pieces. The commonwealth fell, the loan bank closed its coffers and its books on a sensible loss, the rules of life which he drawn about himself fell into desuetude" (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce, 1916).

(Apollo and the Muses Inflicting Penance on Dr Pomposo 'round Parnassus, James Gillray, 1783)

I decided to give a definition from Johnson's great Dictionary today, hence the picture. Also, today is the first instalment of the new "Climbing the Mountain" weekly challenge (credit to PeaceLoveandSharpies for coming up with the idea). So, your task is to write an intelligible paragraph using 5 out of 7 of last week's words (polysyndeton, scintillation, trope, reify, abstruse, pace, and apotheosis). Just copy and paste them into a comment: I'll just read them without publishing. The winner will be announced next week and the first to 5 wins will receive a book. I'll also publish the winner's paragraph and any amusing ones. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rhetoric - polysyndeton

polysyndeton [ˌpɒliˈsɪndɪˌtɒn, -tən] n.

1.) Rhetoric. The repetitive use of conjunctions between elements in a sentence, such as words, phrases, or clauses. This device can make a speaker or writer sound breathless (Garner's Modern American Usage 3rd Ed.).

Etymology: Late Greek polusundeton, from neuter of polusundetos, using many connectives: polu-, poly- + sundetos, bound together.

"And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands" (Book of Haggai, Haggai, 520 BCE).

(La distruzione del Tempio di Gerusalemme, Francesco Hayez, 1867)

Saturday, June 25, 2011


scintillation [ˌsɪntlˈeɪʃən] n.

1.) The action of scintillating; emission of sparks or spark-like flashes of light.
2.) An instance of this; a flash, a spark.
3.) The twinkling or tremulous motion of the light of the fixed stars.
4.) The flashing of the eyes.
5.) Nucl. Physics. A small flash of visible or ultraviolet light emitted by fluorescence in a phosphor when it is struck by a charged particle or high-energy photon.
6.) fig. A flash, a brilliant display (of wit, of thought) (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Latin scintillare, scintillat-, from scintilla, spark.

"He had made a new system in making a staff, a world with full and fair proportions; in which, though the old cities and dynasties had passed away, fairer and more glorious ones had taken their places. And now he saw by the heap of shavings still fresh at his feet, that, for him and his work, the former lapse of time had been an illusion, and that no more time had elapsed than is required for a single scintillation from the brain of Brahma to fall on and inflame the tinder of a mortal brain. The material was pure, and his art was pure; how could the result be other than wonderful?" (Walden, Henry David Thoreau, 1854).

(Het Meisje met de Parel, Johannes Vermeer, ~1665)

Friday, June 24, 2011


trope [troʊp] n.

1.) Rhet. A figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it; also, in casual use, a figure of speech; figurative language.
2.) In Gregorian Music, A short distinctive cadence at the close of a melody. Obs.
3.) [= Gr. τροπή.] The ‘turning’ of the sun at the tropic; also = Geog. Each of two parallels of latitude on the earth's surface (corresponding to the celestial circles, 1 b, and called likewise tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn), distant about 23° 28′ north and south of the equator, being the boundaries of the torrid zone. Obs. rare.
4.) Logic. Any one of the classes into which each of the four ‘figures’ of valid categorical syllogisms is subdivided on the ground of the several ways in which syllogisms differ with regard to the quality and quantity of their constituent propositions.
5.) In the Western Church, A phrase, sentence, or verse introduced as an embellishment into some part of the text of the mass or of the breviary office that is sung by the choir. (Tropes were discontinued at the revision of the missal under Pope Pius V in the 16th cent.)
6.) In the Moravian Church, one of the three divisions forming the ‘Unity of the Brethren’.
7.) In Greek Philosophy, one of ten procedures that were intended to contain the means of refuting dogmatism in all possible forms, and to provide directions for stating every line of available argument which could lead to negative conclusions and paralyse assent.
8.) Geom. The reciprocal of a node on a curve or surface; in different cases, a multiple tangent or tangent plane, or a plane or developable surface touching the given surface in a particular way (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Latin tropus, from Greek tropos, turn, figure of speech.

"Aesthetic authority and creative power are tropes too, but what they substitute for—call it "the canonical"—has a roughly quantifiable aspect, which is to say that William Shakespeare wrote thirty-eight plays, twenty-four of them masterpieces, but social energy has never written a single scene. The death of the author is a trope, and a rather pernicious one; the life of the author is a quantifiable entity" (The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, Harold Bloom, 1994).

(Astronom Kopernik: Czyli Rozmowa z Bogiem, Jan Matejko, 1872)

Sorry about the long post today. I was only aware of the first definition, but thought the rest were interesting, particularly the origin of the word "tropical". There seems to be enough interest to try the weekly contest, so let's start on Monday. I thought it would be appropriate to give a book as a prize, but I can't really give away one every week. Perhaps a running scoreboard and the first to 5 wins gets a book? What do you guys think?

Thursday, June 23, 2011


reify [ˈriəˌfaɪ, ˈreɪ-] v. t.

1.) To regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Latin res, re-, thing; + -fy.

"At this point let me say something about the terminology of 'forces' that I have been using in discussing Newtonian physics. It may be natural to present Newtonian physics in terms of reified forces in this way, but it is not mandatory" (Thinking About Consciousness, David Papineau, 2002).

(Scuola di Atene, Raffaello Sanzio, 1510)

There's been some interest in a weekly competition in which people try to use all the words-of-the-day for that week in a paragraph and then a winner is chosen. I'll have to work out the details about this, but stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


abstruse [æbˈstrus] a.

1.) Remote from apprehension or conception; difficult, recondite.
2.) Concealed, hidden, secret. Obsolete (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Latin abstrusus, past participle of abstrudere, to hide: abs-, ab-, away + trudere, to push.

"It is impossible, that this inference of the animal can be founded on any process of argument or reasoning, by which he concludes, that like events must follow like objects, and that the course of nature will always be regular in its operations. For if there be in reality any arguments of this nature, they surely lie too abstruse for the observation of such imperfect understandings; since it may well employ the utmost care and attention of a philosophic genius to discover and observe them" (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume, 1748).

(Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, ~1597)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


pace [ˈpeɪsi, ˈpɑtʃeɪ; Lat. ˈpɑkɛ] prep.

1.) By the leave of (a person). Used chiefly as a courteous or ironical apology for a contradiction or difference of opinion. Also, In Latin phrase pace tanti viri: by the leave or favour of so great a man (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Latin, ablative singular of pax, peace; as used e.g. in phrase pāce tuā, by your leave.

"Obligations happen for the while that they happen and then fade away. That is all there is to them. But that is enough. They do not need to last forever. Obligations require proper names, not, pace Lacoue-Labarthe, sacred, everlasting names, nor, pace Levinas, infinite ones." (Against Ethics: Contributions to a Poetics of Obligation with Constant Reference to Deconstruction, John D. Caputo, 1993).

(Minerva Protects Pax from Mars, Peter Paul Rubens, 1630)

I almost forgot to give a shout-out to Lemons Don't Make Lemonade, who used one of my words-of-the-day (hoi polloi) recently. She operates a highly amusing blog—with excellent diction—so you should check her out. (You'll see that my use of innuendo is very appropriate once you're there.) Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 20, 2011


apotheosis [əˌpɒθiˈoʊsɪs] n.

1.) The action of ranking, or fact of being ranked, among the gods; transformation into a god, deification; divine status.
2.) By extension: The ascription of extraordinary, and as it were divine, power or virtue; glorification, exaltation; the canonization of saints.
3.) The deification, glorification, or exaltation of a principle, practice, etc.; a deified ideal.
4.) In loose usage: Ascension to glory, departure or release from earthly life; resurrection (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Late Latin apotheosis, from Greek ἀποθέωσις, to deify: ἀπό-, change; + θεός, god.

"A regular custom was introduced, that on the decease of every emperor who had neither lived nor died like a tyrant, the senate by a solemn decree should place him in the number of the gods: and the ceremonies of his apotheosis were blended with those of his funeral" (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. I, Edward Gibbon, 1776).

(The Apotheosis of Homer, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1827)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rhetoric - chiasmus

chiasmus [kaɪˈæzməs] n.

1.) Rhetoric. The arrangement of adjoining parallel clauses or phrases with inverted word order. Normally, parallel clauses have an "a-b-a-b" arrangement. In chiasmus, the order becomes "a-b-b-a" (Garner's Modern American Usage 3rd Ed.).

Etymology: Modern Latin, adopted from Greek χιασµός crossing, diagonal arrangement, especially of clauses of a sentence, from χιάζ-ειν, to mark with or like a chī (χ).

"Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children" (2 Corinthians, Paul of Tarsus, ~55).

(St Paul Preaching in Athens, Raffaello Sanzio, 1515)

I actually may have to discuss this one in my thesis.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


obloquy [ˈɒbləkwi] n.

1.) Abusively detractive language or utterance; calumny.
2.) The condition of disgrace suffered as a result of abuse or vilification; ill repute (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Middle English obloqui, from Late Latin obloquium, abusive contradiction, from Latin obloqui, to interrupt : ob-, against ; see ob- + loqui, to speak.

"Hawthorne takes the license of a sympathetic biographer in speaking of his hero's having incurred obloquy by his conservative attitude on the question of Slavery. The only class in the American world that suffered in the smallest degree, at this time, from social persecution, was the little band of Northern Abolitionists, who were as unfashionable as they were indiscreet—which is saying much." (Hawthorne, Henry James, 1879).

(The Calumny of Apelles, Sandro Botticelli, 1494)

Friday, June 17, 2011


largess also largesse [lɑrˈdʒɛs, ˈlɑrdʒɪs] n.

1.) Liberality; generosity; bounty. [Obs.]
2.) A present; a gift; a bounty bestowed (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary).

Etymology: Middle English largesse, from Old French, from large, generous, from Latin largus.

"Kim slunk away, his teeth in the bread, and, as he expected, he found a small wad of folded tissue-paper wrapped in oilskin, with three silver rupees—enormous largesse. He smiled and thrust money and paper into his leather amulet-case." (Kim, Rudyard Kipling, 1901).

(The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, 1773)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


nous [nus, naʊs] n.
1.) Philosophy
a.) Reason and knowledge as opposed to sense perception.
b.) The rational part of the individual human soul.
c.) The principle of the cosmic mind or soul responsible for the rational order of the cosmos.
d.) In Stoicism, the equivalent of Logos.
e.) In Neo-Platonism, the image of the absolute good, containing the cosmos of intelligible beings.
2.) Chiefly British. Good sense; shrewdness (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Adoption of Greek νοῦς (the Attic contracted form of νόος, mind).

"Ah, think not, mistress! more true Dulness lies
In Folly's cap, than Wisdom's grave disguise;
Like buoys, that never sink into the flood,
On Learning's surface we but lie and nod.
Thine is the genuine head of many a house,
And much divinity without a nous."
The Dunciad, Alexander Pope, 1728)

(The Death of Socrates, Jacques-Louis David, 1787)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

violon d'Ingres

violon d'Ingres [vɪˈəʊlɒn ˈdængrə] n.

1.) An occasional pastime, an activity other than that for which one is well-known or at which one excels (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: French, literally "Ingres’ violin". Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780—1867) was a French Neoclassical painter who also played the violin.

"But archaeology was much more than Freud's violon d'Ingres and provided him both as a clinician and as a writer with a versatile set of conceptual modes. This celebrated moment from his essay on 'Female Sexuality' (1931) is characteristic of one use to which archaeological material may be put: 'Our insight into this early, pre-Oedipus, phase in girls comes to us as a surprise, like the discovery, in another field, of the Minoan-Mycenean civilization behind the civilization of Greece' (XXI, 226)" (Freud, Proust, and Lacan: Theory as Art, Malcolm Bowie, 1987).

(Violon d'Ingres, Man Ray, 1924)

Cheers to everyone who responded to my little moral dilemma. The correct answer was: it doesn't matter what I do because animals have no moral significance. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


weltschmerz [ˈvɛltˌʃmɛrts] n.

1.) A weary or pessimistic feeling about life; an apathetic or vaguely yearning attitude (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: German : Welt, world + Schmerz, pain (from Middle High German smërze, from Old High German smerzo)

"Too much questioning and too little active responsibility lead, almost as often as too much sensualism does, to the edge of the slope, at the bottom of which lie pessimism and the nightmare or suicidal view of life. But to the diseases which reflection breeds, still further reflection can oppose effective remedies; and it is of the melancholy and Weltschmerz bred of reflection that I now proceed to speak" ("Is Life Worth Living?", William James, 1895).

(Das Eismeer, Caspar David Friedrich, 1824)

My housemates are away and I'm taking care of their cats. So, I'm reading in my garden yesterday afternoon when one of the cats comes over the fence carrying a pigeon bigger than he is. It's not dead, though, and the cat is just torturing it. What is the correct response in this situation? Am I obligated to put the pigeon out of its misery? Why? The cat is the one being immoral, not me. By this logic, aren't we obligated to stop all cats (even lions, tigers, etc.) from torturing their prey?

Monday, June 13, 2011


lucubrate [ˈlukyʊˌbreɪt] v. i.

1.) Literally, To work by artificial light. In mod. use, to produce ‘lucubrations’, discourse learnedly in writing.

lucubrate v. t.

1.) To produce (literary compositions) by laborious study (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: From Late lūcubrāt-, participial stem of lūcubrāre, from lūc-, lūx light.

"'England! with all thy faults I love thee still,'
I said at Calais, and have not forgot it;
I like to speak and lucubrate my fill;
I like the government (but that is not it);
I like the freedom of the press and quill;
I like the Hapeas Corpus (when we've got it);
I like a parliamentary debate,
Particularly when 'tis not too late;

I like the taxes, when they're not too many;
I like a seacoal fire, when not too dear;
I like a beef-steak, too, as well as any;
Have no objection to a pot of beer;
I like the weather, when it is not rainy,
That is, I like two months of every year,
And so God save the Regent, Church, and King!
Which means that I like all and everything" (Beppo, George Byron, 1817).

(Two Scholars Debating, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1628)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rhetoric - hypophora

hypophora [haɪˈpɒfərə] n.

1.) Rhetoric. The posing and answering of questions, often at length; esp., the practice or an instance of raising and answering one or more questions that an opponent might raise about one's argument (Garner's Modern American Usage 3rd Ed.).

Etymology: Latin adaptation of Greek ὑπόϕορά: hypo, under + phora, allegation.

"You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that America can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival" ("1st Address to the House of Commons", Winston Churchill, 1940).


Just a reminder that this is the third entry in my weekly series of terms of rhetoric, so the Churchill quote is a use of hypophora, not a use of the word. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


etiology also aetiology [ˌitiˈɒlədʒi] n.

1.) The assignment of a cause, the rendering of a reason; also, the reason annexed, the wherefore of a command or utterance.
2.) The science or philosophy of causation; that part of philosophy which treats of the demonstration of causes; the part of any special science which speculates on the causes of its phenomena.
3.) That branch of medical science which investigates the causes and origin of diseases; the scientific exposition of the origin of any disease (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Adaptation of Latin ætiologia, from Greek αἰτιολογία, giving a cause: αἰτία cause, reason + -λογία discourse.

"It will start in the E.R., at the intake desk if C.T.'s late in following the ambulance, or in the green-tiled room after the room with the invasive digital machines; or, given this special M.D.-supplied ambulance, maybe on the ride itself: some blue-jawed M.D. scrubbed to an antiseptic glow with his name sewn in cursive on his white coat's breast pocket and a quality desk-set pen, wanting gurneyside Q&A, etiology and diagnosis by Socratic method, ordered and point by point" (Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace, 1996).

(Greek Physician Galen Applying A Treatment Of Cupping, Robert Thom, 1959)

Friday, June 10, 2011

hoi polloi

hoi polloi [ˈhɔɪ pəˈlɔɪ] n.

1.) The majority; the masses. Also formerly in Univ. slang, candidates for a pass degree. In English use normally preceded by the definite article even though hoi means ‘the’ (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Greek οἱ πολλοί, the many: hoi, nominative pl. of ho, the; + polloi, nominative pl. of polus, many.

"The hoi polloi of jarvies or stevedores or whatever they were after a cursory examination turned their eyes apparently dissatisfied, away though one redbearded bibulous individual portion of whose hair was greyish, a sailor probably, still stared for some appreciable time before transferring his rapt attention to the floor" (Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922).

(Ulysses and Eumaeus, from Odyssey II, Marc Chagall, 1975)

Thursday, June 9, 2011


consanguinity [ˌkɒnsæŋˈgwɪnɪti] n.

1.) The condition of being of the same blood; relationship by descent from a common ancestor; blood-relationship. (Opposed to affinity, i.e. relationship by marriage.)
2.) [Fig.] Oneness of nature; relationship, affinity (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: From Latin consanguineus : con-, variation of com-, with + sanguineus, of blood.

"When I ask for a garment of a particular form, my tailoress tells me gravely, 'They do not make them so now,' not emphasizing the 'They' at all, as if she quoted an authority as impersonal as the Fates, and I find it difficult to get made what I want, simply because she cannot believe that I mean what I say, that I am so rash. When I hear this oracular sentence, I am for a moment absorbed in thought, emphasizing to myself each word separately that I may come at the meaning of it, that I may find out by what degree of consanguinity They are related to me, and what authority they may have in an affair which affects me so nearly; and, finally, I am inclined to answer her with equal mystery, and without any more emphasis of the 'they'—'It is true, they did not make them so recently, but they do now'" (Walden, Henry David Thoreau, 1854).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


mien [min] n.

1.) The air, bearing, carriage or manner of a person, as expressive of character or mood (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Alteration (influenced by French mine, appearance) of Middle English demeine, demeanor, from Old French demener, to behave.

"Folly, vice,
Extravagance in gesture, mien, and dress,
And all the strife of singularity,
Lies to the ear, and lies to every sense—
Of these, and of the living shapes they wear,
There is no end." (The Prelude, William Wordsworth, 1850).

(Portrait of William Wordsworth, Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1842)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


surfeit [ˈsɜrfɪt] n.

1.) Excess, superfluity; excessive amount or supply of something.
2.) Excessive taking of food or drink; gluttonous indulgence in eating or drinking. Also in fig. context.

surfeit v. t.

1.) To fill or supply to excess; to oppress or disgust with over-abundance of something.
2.) To feed to excess or satiety; to sicken or disorder by overfeeding or by unwholesome food (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Middle English surfeten, from surfait, excess, from Old French, from past participle of surfaire, to overdo : sur-, sur- + faire, to do (from Latin facere).

"— Portia: How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
For fear I surfeit" (The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare, ~1597).
(Portia and Shylock, Thomas Sully, 1835)

Hi readers, I'm finally back. The trip took longer than I expected, but it was pretty good (about as good as a trip with just you and your parents could be). We went to: Bath, Stonehenge, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Glastonbury, Shrewsbury, the Royal Air Force Museum, Conwy, Anglesey, Bolton Abbey, York, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Fort William, Dove Cottage, and Stratford-Upon-Avon. Saw Jean-Luc Picard as Shylock at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre last night (hence the quote).