Tag Archives: Literature

A Contrived Math In Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark

In Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, the Butcher wanted to convince the Beaver that two plus one is equal to three, and he did it the “easy” way: Taking Three as the subject to reason about — A convenient … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Mathematics, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Gleanings From The Past #38

Irish Speak An Irishman, being ask’d if he understood French? Reply’d, “Yes, Joy, I understand French perfectly well, provided it’s spoken in Irish.” — Xavier Méfret, French and English Self-taught, 1882

Posted in Anecdotes, Humor, Literature, Miscellanea | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Gleanings From The Past #37

Published A disappointed literary aspirant, weary of having his articles declined with thanks, and doubtful of his critics’ infallibility, copied out ‘Samson Agonistes,’ which he rechristened ‘Like a Giant Refreshed,’ and the manuscript, as an original work of his own, … Continue reading

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“The Art of Bookkeeping”

How hard, when those who do not wish To lend, that’s lose, their books, Are snared by anglers — folks that fish With literary hooks; Who call and take some favourite tome, But never read it through; They thus complete … Continue reading

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A Curious Form Of Poetry: Univocalic Poems

Regular readers of Learn Fun Facts may already be familiar with lipograms. In today’s post, I’ll talk about another form of lipogrammatic constrained writing called univocalic. French author Georges Perec published a 300-page lipogrammatic novel La disparition in 1969. The entire … Continue reading

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To Be Or The Contrary?: Shakespeare For Bureacrats

Arthur Quiller-Couch Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944) was a critic of jargons and the overuse of circumlocutions. His essays on jargons are some of the best on the subject. The following is Quiller-Couch’s version of a famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet from his book On … Continue reading

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Don Quixote Mistook A Flock Of Sheep For An Army (With Some Parallels)

In Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote Book 1 (1605), Don Quixote mistook a flock of sheep for an army: “Senor, devil take it if there’s a sign of any man you talk of, knight or giant, in the whole thing; maybe it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Literature | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments