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They certainly are.

An Academy of English is being formed by the Queen’s English Society, to protect the language from impurities, bastardisations and the horrors introduced by the text-speak generation.

France has L’Académie Française, Spain the Real Academia Española, and Italy the Accademia della Crusca — august institutions that uphold the rules of their languages. English, however, has no such bastion against corruption and continuously mutates as new words develop, or fall out of use, grammar changes and the intricacies of punctuation go in and out of fashion.

The Queen’s English Society, made up of professionals, academics and self-confessed pedants, has decided that an English Academy is long overdue. Its members hope to win official recognition, or even a Royal Charter for their academy.

Where do I send my admission application?

I see from my email quote-of-the-day source that today is the anniversary of the birth of Paul Gauguin in 1846.  According to my EQOTDS, Gauguin once said:

Art for Art’s sake.  Why not?

Art for Life’s sake.  Why not?

Art for Pleasure’s sake.  Why not?

What does it matter as long as it is Art?


I can never think of Gauguin without being reminded of a cartoon I saw in the New Yorker years ago.  It featured a couple of middle-aged ladies viewing one of his Polynesian fresh fruit paintings in a museum and one of them is saying to the other, “That god-damned son of a bitch.”

That always makes me smile.

I see by the dashboard counter that the post below was the 1000th that ol’ Robbo has offered up over the port and Stilton since starting this little venture just short of two years ago.

That’s a goodish bit of nattering.

As is traditional with these milestones, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the small circle of fellow port-swillers who continue to indulge me by stopping in for a glass or two.  TPSAYE will never be famous, of course, and probably will never rise to anything more than casual opinion and observation, but at the same time it’s gratifying to know that I have some small impact on at least a few people in the world and am not just talking to myself.

Bumpers all round!

Because they like to do things right in my parish, yesterday we held a full-dress Eucharistic Procession with all the fixin’s round the grounds in celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi.  It was about 90 muggy degrees out, and I was sweating buckets after the first 10 yards in nothing more than a summah-weight blazer.  I couldn’t begin to imagine how poor Father S and his colleagues must have felt, wrapped in wool three layers deep.

The procession was headed by the choir, leading us in a Panga lingua gloriosi (Chant Mode III), an Adoro Te devote (Chant Mode V) and a Verbum supernum prodiens.  As we proceeded apace and the column began to string out, many followers began to lose time with the choir.  With several local tempi starting up along the line, the singing delightfully began to resemble a round.  Equally delightfully, as we closed up back by the entrance to the church, the individual strains started to mesh back together into one unified voice.

Another interesting aspect of the procession was the fact of a squall line bearing down on us.  As we first emerged from the church, the sky to windward was already turning black.  By the time we got back, thunder was coming down the rising wind.   Father S had warned that we would process weather permitting.  He got us back in for the final benediction and closing hymn with about fifteen or twenty minutes to spare, the squall not striking until I was already on my way home.

I had the most bizarre dream last night that I was in Arsenic and Old Lace.  I was trapped in the kitchen having a cat-and-mouse conversation with Raymond Massey, knowing that if I said the wrong thing he would become psychotically violent.  He knew that I knew this.  I knew that he knew that I knew.  We were a well-informed tete-a-tete.

At one point, Peter Lorre tried to intervene.  Massey turned on him and pinned him in a corner, where Lorre started squealing, “No, Reeeeeck! Nooooo, Reeeeck!”  (Wrong movie, I know.)

Oh, and instead of Uncle Teddy running about and yelling “charge!”, my dream included Abbott and Costello being chased by ghosts.

I have no idea what all this means except that perhaps I had ought to lay off the spices a bit when breading chicken breasts for din-dins.


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June 2010