• მელიამ მგელს შესძახა: შე უმი ხორცის ჭამიაო!
•• Meliam mgels šesdzakha: še umi khartsis ch’amio!
••• The fox called to the wolf: “Thou eater of raw meat!”
•••• The pot called the kettle black.

Core War…

In terms of my core ambitions for 2022, I hope to continue the fight against such things as the reprehensible and repulsive phrase “in terms of”, the pretentious and throbbingly urgent adjective “core”, and the cheap trick of trailing dots… I know that I won’t win and that the Hive-Mind will continue to buzz deafeningly at core venues like The Guardian, The London Review of Books and The Shropshire Advertiser, but so what? In the core words of Samuel in terms of Johnson:

[I]t remains that we retard what we cannot repel, that we palliate what we cannot cure. Life may be lengthened by care, though death cannot be ultimately defeated: tongues, like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration; we have long preserved our constitution, let us make some struggles for our language. — Samuel Johnson, Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language (1755)

Elsewhere Other-Accessible

Ex-term-in-ate! — core interrogation of why “in terms of” is so despicable, deplorable and downright disgusting…
Don’t Do Dot — core interrogation of why “…” is so despicable, deplorable and downright disgusting dot dot dot

Post-Performative Post-Scriptum

How should the first line of this incendiary intervention begin? I suggest: “In terms of my core ambitions for 2022…” → “Among my main ambitions…”


I enjoy doing crosswords occasionally, but I’m not very good at them. Even so, I’m still surprised at how hard I can find a kind of crossword where you look at three words and have to find another word that links them. Some of the answers can be very simple, but it sometimes takes me a long time to get them. Here’s an example with an attractively symmetric grids:


1. Band, Farthing, Top
2. Jobs, Less, While
5. Bullet, Money, Surgeon
7. Back, Bank, Over
8. Half, Hiker, Up
9. Golden, Maple, Rosehip
11. Razor, Shooter, Tongue
13. Lunar, Solar, Total
14. Break, Buckets, Shirt
15. Angle, Away, Down


1. Board, Roll, Sweet
2. Alec, Out, Phone
3. Night, Tower, Wrist
4. Cross, Loft, Serving
5. Dog, Oyster, Wolf
6. Cheese, Industry, Pie
9. Gum, Platform, Snow
10. Light, Test, Whale
11. Market, Power, Sonic
12. Ball, Stripper, Wet

Gleet the Beatles

The Guardian incisively interrogates issues around the Scouse Superstars:

Just in terms of pure sales they still dominate. In the first half of the year in the US – half a century on from Ed Sullivan, screaming fans, the olds just not getting it – they sold more albums than anyone else; the only group that came close over that period were BTS, a group who are regularly compared to the Beatles in terms of their planet-straddling massiveness. — The Guide #10: the enduring appeal of the Beatles, The Guardian, 26xi21

Elsewhere other-accessible

Ex-Term-In-Ate! — interrogating issues around why “in terms of” is so teratographically toxic…
All posts interrogating issues around “in terms of”…
All posts interrogating issues around the Guardian-reading community and its affiliates…

The Whisper of the Stars

• Le record de froid peut atteindre -77°C, alors que l’été le thermomètre peut monter jusqu’à 30°C. Les températures hivernales causent des phénomènes étonnants. Par exemple, ce que les Yakoutes appellent « le chuchotement des étoiles » : lorsqu’il gèle, l’homme entend en permanence le doux bruissement de sa respiration qui gèle dès qu’il expire.

• At its worst the cold can reach -77°C, while in summer the thermometer can climb to 30°C. Winter temperatures cause some astonishing phenomena. For example, there is what the Yakuts call “the whisper of the stars”: when it’s freezing, you constantly hear the soft rustle of your own breath, which is turning into ice-crystals even as you exhale.

Elsewhere other-engageable

Cry’ Me A Shiver — an interview with French avant-gardistes Cryogénie, les Rois du Froid and Kings of Cold…

Flaubert le Flaubard du Flaubeau

«Je ne suis rien qu’un lézard littéraire qui se chauffe toute la journée au grand soleil du beau» — Gustave Flaubert, Croisset, 17 octobre 1846

• “I am nothing but a literary lizard basking all day in the great sun of beauty.”

The Grates of Roth

Van Halen’s Diamond Dave fails to sparkle:

In terms of music, it’s all Brit. It’s Freddie, Bowie and the guy in Zeppelin. Theatrically, you’re looking at Spider-Man, with a little Groucho thrown in. […] Pushing boundaries in terms of what [Van Halen] wore was never an ambition of ours, but it always seemed to be where we would end up. — David Lee Roth: ‘My advice for aspiring artists? Breathable fabrics’, The Guardian, 25vi2019.

Note that he said “Theatrically…” rather than “In terms of theater…” So he should’ve said “Musically, it’s all Brit.” Rather than using the ugly and pretentious “In terms of music…”

Hal Bent for Leather — Rob Halford talks like a Guardianista too

Maximal Mensual Metrics

Like all minimally decent and politically aware people, I am keyly — and corely — committed to anti-racism on a maximal basis by any means necessary. Monkey-funker.

This is also why I am a corely — and keyly — committed member of the Guardian-reading community. If I am ever tempted to relent a micrometre in terms of the maximality of the metrics of my core commitment to anti-racism, the Guardian is there to remind me of what anti-racism is corely committed to achieving…

It’s been a turbulent year for race in Britain. So what next? — At the end of Black History Month, we ask prominent Black British figures to assess where the UK stands in terms of equality and cohesion, The Guardian, 30×21

Terminal Transgressivity

“If this work is about hell,” he says, “it’s not only about hell in terms of content. It’s also about hell in terms of its hellishness in terms of production.” — maximally maverick artist Jake Chapman describes how he and his brother Dinos made the transgressive sculpture Hell (2000), as quoted in Simon Garfield’s In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate the World (2018)

Elsewhere Other-Accessible

Ex-term-in-nate! — incendiarily interrogating issues around “in terms of”…
All O.o.t.Ü.-F. posts interrogating issues around “in terms of”…

Peri-Performative Post-Scriptum…

Yes, this was an über-ideal quote for posting on the 23rd in terms of the month… But I was so taken with it that I couldn’t delay any longer. And anyway: it is the 23rd of the months in base 11. (I.e., 2111 = 2 * 11 + 1 = 22 + 1 = 23.)


Green on green on green
The light befalls me clean,
Beneath the birds.

And how I can capture
This mute green rapture
In blinded words? (7viii21)

Post-Performative Post-Scriptum

This poem is an attempt to describe the impossibility of describing the green light I saw falling through the leaf-layers of a chestnut-tree a few days ago. I wanted a title that compressed the most important images in the poem — trees and greenness — and I remembered a clever portmanteau I’d seen in a Spanish translation of Lord of the Rings. In the translation, the Ent Treebeard, a walking-and-talking tree, was called Barbol, which is a blend of the Spanish words barba, “beard”, and arbol, “tree”. I’ve tried to blend Spanish verde, “green”, and arbol. The resulting portmanteau contained more than I planned: it’s also got ver, Spanish for “to see”, and vēr, Latin for “spring, youth”. And it’s almost “verbal”, but with the “a” replaced by an “o”, representing the sun and its indescribable light. And come to think of it, there’s an important chestnut-tree in Lord of the Rings:

A little way beyond the battle-field they made their camp under a spreading tree: it looked like a chestnut, and yet it still bore many broad brown leaves of a former year, like dry hands with long splayed fingers; they rattled mournfully in the night-breeze. — The Two Towers, ch. 11

That’s when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are camping on the edge of Fangorn, the ancient forest where Treebeard dwells. The broadness of chestnut-leaves is why the light that falls through them is greened and cleaned in a special way.