Violette Malan signing - Mostly, it is...
Oct. 26th, 2008
11:47 pm - Violette Malan signing
Yesterday was Violette Malan's book signing at Bakka-Phoenix Books. I haven't read her books yet, though they are on the list of books to check out at the library to see if I should buy them. Half a Crown finally arrived at the store, so I decided to drop in anyway.
It was good. Graydon was there, and I got to compliment him on his photography and in particular his captioning. I made more connections between the identities of people I've met online and in person. A cute pair of first time customers who are moving into the neighbourhood found lots of books that they'd had difficulty finding otherwhere and made enthusiastic noises over them. One was, I think, a combination of thrilled and disappointed to find that the book that she was holding, signed by one of her favourite authors, had in fact been signed in the store that very day (Since Cory Doctorow is getting married, various people (tnh, pnh, Justine Larbalestier, John Scalzi, that I've heard of) are in town and came by the shop to say hi, sign stock and so on, all of which I missed and heard about afterwards.) and that said author was not actually present anymore. Nonetheless, they left happy and loaded down with bags of paper and cardboard. Also nice to see (inexhaustively) were ksumnersmith, msegara, cszego, delta_november and sylvia_rachel.
Interesting conversations occurred of course. One thread in particular, given the shared background in English literature studies of a number of the participants, wound around libraries, academics, classroom dynamics, study and led to deadlines, writing workflows, communication of expectations, procrastination and pressure. At various points in and around it came discussion of the intricacies and arts of cursing, swearing, insult and invective in different languages and styles through different cultures and time periods, which was stimulating, humourous, edifying and useful. Current trends and practice in the repertoire of popular North American English insult were generally viewed unfavourably in comparison with the artistry, specificity and beauty of Spanish, Yiddish and Italian, though points were awarded for concision and versatility. This got into other questions of the uses of language and the ways in which language shifts connect to societal ones, which reminded me of something. Unfortunately, I think that I misjudged the difference in the length of an inviting silence that one could continue to discuss the subject matter after, with the length of the silence with indicates consensus that the topic is closed, by about half a second, and so stopped after about three words.
Not in this form, here's the most of the basic content of what I was thinking. Shouldn't really be insulting. It's more in the vein of being interesting and amusing.
Tory [mid 17th century] The word Tory is probably from the Irish toraidhe 'outlaw, highwayman, from tóir 'pursue'. The word was used of Irish peasants dispossessed by English settlers and making their living as marauders in particular to Scottish Highlanders. It was then adopted in around 1679 as an abusive nickname for those who opposed the exclusion of the Catholic James, Duke of York, from accession to the throne: he later became James II. Tory remained the name for the members of the English, later British, parliamentary party supporting the established religious and political order until the emergence of the Conservative Party in the 1830s.
The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories. Edited by Glynnis Chantrell Oxford University Press 2004
Tory noun (pl. -ies) 1 informal (in Canada and the UK) a member or supporter of a Conservative party. 2 hist. (in England) a member of the party that opposed the exclusion of James II and later supported the established religious and political order and gave rise to the Conservative Party (opp. Whig 1) 3 US hist. a loyal colonist during the American Revolution. adjective informal (in Canada and the UK) of or relating to a Conservative party. Tory-ism noun [originally = Irish outlaw, prob. from Irish from tóir pursue]
Whig 1 a member of the English (later British) reforming and constitutional party that after 1688 sought the supremacy of Parliament and was eventually succeeded in the 19th c. by the Liberal Party (opp. Tory 3). a a member of a 19th-c. US political party established in 1834 in opposition to the Democratic Party, favouring a protective tariff and strong central Government, succeeded by the Republican Party. b a colonist who supported the American Revolution. Whiggery noun Whiggish adjective [prob. a shortening of Scots whiggamer, -more, nickname of 17th-c. Scottish rebels, from whig to drive + MARE^1]
Canadian Oxford Dictionary 2nd Edition. Edited by Katherine Barber. Oxford University Press Canada 2004
^1 female equine.
edited for minor typo