Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Four Questions

1. Now that Ratty has been well and truly got, should I change my blog header picture? Although I still enjoy sniggering at it on an almost daily basis, it won't do to become sentimental for the days when we chafed under the ignominious yoke of the rodentocracy. And I do have heaps more pictures like that one to pick another from.

2. Is it 'in parenthesis' or 'in parentheses'? Seems to me it should be the former - a parenthesis seemingly coming into existence only when the closing bracket and opening bracket are both present. But earlier today I read the latter printed in a multi-award-winning work of literary fiction. Said novel also included numerous, misplaced, commas and the word 'guage', though, so it's not a reliable guide. Those toffs at Language Log would doubtless vigorously sneer at this second question in its entirety but that only deepens my desire to know the correct answer. And perhaps to blog away the approaching summer in a series of posts of increasingly dust-smeared and thin-lipped pedantry.

3. Was it maybe a mistake to cook my puddings in cloths instead of in pudding basins?

4. Do you now, or did you ever, knowingly ask for Stamina Self-Supporting Trousers?


Zarquon said...

One ) or ( is a parenthesis and () is a pair of parentheses as I understand it. So it takes two to make the surrounding parentheses.

Fyodor said...

1. No. Good lolz are hard to find.
2. Yes.
3. Yes.
4. Depends on whether the Northanger Abbey reference was semiotically intentional.

Anonymous said...

Surely your first recourse was to a dictionary, which informed you that twin parentheses "(" and ")" may be used--like dashes--to demarcate a parenthesis? I rather think the problem is youngsters being taught to call the symbols "brackets", "square brackets" and "curly brackets", rather than parentheses, braces etc.

Also: 1) using RSS and never see it; 3) what is a pudding basin?; 4) no, but now I have the strangest urge to do just that...

kate said...

Wiser minds have already chipped in on the important issues of our time before I got here.

I've always made puddings in basins, and I'm not game to mess with a winning formula. Except every time (which isn't every year, we take turns in my family) I get to the stage where you put the pudding mixture into the basin, and I butter the greaseproof paper, and I layer the foil over the top...

...and then I realise we haven't got any string. Elastic bands, if anyone's wondering, break in boiling water. They are handy for holding it all together while you get the string in position though.

Ampersand Duck said...

Hey, I'm always up for a bit of a change. And I KNOW you have something just as good in reserve.

I would lurv some self supporting trousers. I'm so over belts. If only I knew where to ask for them!

5. Does the person who paid $85,000 for a ticket to 'the last Led Zeppelin' concert feel quite so happy and smug now that it might not be the last?

lucy tartan said...

Ah god I'm really worried about the puddings now! Curse that Gabriel Gate.

Ariel said...

I like 'Get Ratty'. But hey, it's your blog ...

peacay said...

One possibility... I have the widget code you could rig up to make the header pic random from a set of them if you want. Like singular bazlotto.

Betty said...

Cloths are always better - especially if making multiple puddings. I mean, who has that many pudding basins? Also, in a proper kitchen the pudding should be hung from an exposed beam (preferably oak)to air and mature. Dangerous to hang basins.

I REMEMBER Stamina self supporting trousers, what a shaming admission. At least, I remember the advertisements. If I'm right, the selling point was that they were modern, requiring no belt or braces, and therefore making the waistcoat also unnecessary. The illustrations showed a Cary Grant type gentleman leaning nonchalantly against the front of a Morris Minor, TOTALLY free of belt and/or braces. Such glamour.

dogpossum said...

Ah, the end of the semester. When overworked ackas come out play and blogdom blossoms!

The thing in the middle is the parenthesis. So the bit inside the brackets is the parenthesis. So you could have more than one (I use them a lot. To excess, in fact).

The truly important question, though, is where does the full stop go? Inside? Outside? What if you have more than one sentence inside? Is it proper to have more than one sentence inside?

genevieve said...

from W.S. Gilbert (surely an impeccable authority)
"Take a tender little hand
Fringed with dainty fingerettes,
Press it, press it, press it - in parenthesis, AAAAAAAAHHHHHH"*

*"Take A Pair Of Sparkling Eyes", The Gondoliers.

Ben.H said...

1. On the internet, old is the new new. So keep it unless you've got something else you want to share.

2. "In Parenthesis" was good enough for David Jones, so it's good enough for me.

3. I don't trust any recipe that calls for manchester.

3. I'm a Sansabelt man myself.

cristy said...

I think that puddings belong in cloths personally, but then again I have never heard of a pudding basin.

I like the header image. It now just makes me feel happy that they did, in fact, get ratty.

I am not the person to ask grammatical questions of. I suck at grammar and spelling.

I would dearly like a pair of stamina supporting stamina. I am hoping that they might help me get through these days of the teething munchkin.

lucy tartan said...

Congratulations Dogpossum. Enjoy that winnin feelin because the feelin is all there is.

Hil said...

I googled and found Australian Men of Stamina trade cards, featuring Antarctic explorers. Apparently they were made from Crusader Cloth, made by Australian Woollen Mills in Marrickville. Heroic clothing indeed!

Did you use Crusader Cloth for your puddings?

The Thought for the Month on the trouser label makes me think of Adelaide bus tickets which used to have a Thought for the Day on them. Apparently thoughts had more stamina in the past too.

lynn white said...

My advice with the puddings (from long experience) is put cloth ones in the fridge - in Melbourne you can prob get away with hanging them if you've floured the cloth well, but you'll avoid mould with refrigeration.

If you do hang and get mould it usually is only superficial, but make sure it hasn't penetrated the flour barrier where the pudding cloth and string come together. If that does happen, all is not lost. Open the cloth, peel off the mould, reflour a new boiled cloth and put it all in and cook it again before serving. Nobody will notice (and the brandy flambe trick burns off any remaining residue).

For all these reasons, basins are easier, and as they only cost a maximum of $12 each, barely more expensive than cloth.

Anonymous said...

There is a family in Northcote that make puddings in the shed and cryogenicallly wrap them and sell them at the South Melbourne Market. They are "Kings Puddings" - http://www.kingschristmaspuddings.com.au

and they have a clever donation scheme as well. I am a bit of a fanatic about m'pudding, and I can testify that they are most excellent cannonballs of deliciousness.

I notice a bit of ballyhoo about rural Victoria, but the woman doing the selling told me the truth about the shed. And the fact that they make them through the year, only ever make one thing, and that they keep for a long, long time. Last June I ate one that fell down behind the fridge about four years ago. I now hallucinate occasionally, but it was worth it.

Imagine living next door to these people.

- barista

Drewzel said...

1. Yes to new header.
2. I'm more concerned that SMS abbreviations are being considered part of the English language. I know it's all about cultural evolution and stuff, but it shites me right off.
3. I don't like Christmas pud. Not a fruit cake person either.
The international Christmas pudding...what's become of it?
4. Yes to trousers. Sounds fab.

Ann O'Dyne said...

I have never made a pudding, at Christmas or any other time.

Those Stamina cards came in sets in envelopes within out school blazers and tunics.
If one 'wrote away' to them, they sent massive information on worthy topics by return post.
Children were so EASILY captivated decades ago.

Wishing All of Baz's Family a Very Lovely Christmas.