The art of “PORTMANTEAU”.

James Murray

For those of you uncertain as to the proper pronunciation, it’s “Port-Man-Toe” in the written Ebonics. Carrying on, the dictionary will simply describe Portmanteau as a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms. (I say that with complete certainty because the bulk of that last sentence was a direct cut and paste from a dictionary website.) The most common example of this one could argue is the word “Smog” as it originates from “Smoke” and “Fog”. So many of these words have found their way into our everyday dialog, including more recent additions such as; “Bootylicious” or “Guesstimate”. Even when first presented with one of these words its meaning is so very often intuitive. Rarely is a definition required to help a new user successfully adapt it into their vocabulary.

As many of the other Gents will attest to, I have on occasion found myself “Unscrupivised”. As to say, I was both without adequate scruples and adequate supervision to make an appropriate decision. (I must of course state that many of those occasions came while pursuing my studies in Mixology with Gentleman Lee Dunteman. Who as it turns out, was also unscrupivised.) I would further put forth that when you first read the word unscrupivised, you had a “Quimsical” look upon your face. Would you not agree that the expression would have conveyed both your questing of the word and how whimsical it sounded to you? As I do realize that I stated that defining such words was unnecessary, I did so simply to help you feel certain in your application and confident in your future use of these and other Portmanteaus that you may encounter as you progress through life.

In general, remember that there is an art to language and regardless of practicality, art is always necessary. Revel in the ability to share concepts and ideas. While not everything will be Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, thankfully, it can be more than a little amusing to give voice to your thoughts. You don’t have to be a Shakespearian Actor or a Used Car Salesman to benefit from a rich vocabulary and keen awareness for body language. Embrace the need to express and open yourself to those around you. (As much too how something is said as to what was said.) You can only grow and better yourself for it.

Cheers!

Chaphopapallooza II: Reconciliation

Some time ago, our own Dr. Dunteman reported on a quarrel between Professor Elemental and Mr B, the Gentleman Rhymer, two practitioners of rap’s most gentlemanly sub-genre, Chap-Hop. Well I’m happy to report that boeuf appears to be over (for the time being), with each MC making a guest appearance in the other’s most recent video. To wit:

Bolos

I have always enjoyed bolo ties, and have frequently defended them as an accoutrement worthy of a Gentleman Adventurer. But a recent Google search made me realize just how out of the mainstream that may put me. As you can see from the screenshot below, Google apparently considers Bolo Ties to be slightly less popular than Bolo Yeung, whom you may recognize as the Buff Chinese Guy from… well, any movie in the 70s or 80s that featured a buff Chinese guy.

Google prefers Yeung to ties.

Now I have always appreciated Mr. Yeung’s work in Enter the Dragon, Bloodsport, and his other motion pictures, and I mean him no disrespect, but are my Western-style string ties really that far removed from being relevant or popular? I see snap-front Western shirts, cowboy boots, and hats everywhere these days, so why not my beloved bolo?

Gents, I say it’s high time we bring bolos back. Wear yours with pride. And while you’re add it, go watch Bloodsport again. That movie kicks ass.

The author at a film premiere, sporting a bolo tie from his personal collection.

The Gargoyles of Washington D.C.

Here in San Diego, we have a section of town called Old Town. Not because it’s particularly old, but because it’s old to us. See, here in San Diego, any structure more than 50 years or so is old. So whenever I get to travel to the east coast, I love getting a chance to see all the old(er) architecture. I think it’s something people from the east coast see so often, they forget just how beautiful it can be. During my time in Montreal, I loved walking around and taking pictures of the buildings built right around 1800 or so. My favorite parts of these buildings were almost always the gargoyles and grotesques 1 lurking at the corners. I passed by Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral on my first walk to work and was able to snap a picture of these guys.

 

It was to my surprise and delight then that on my first trip to Washington D.C. I would discover that our nation’s capital was home to a collection of these little guys as part of the National Cathedral. (more…)

  1. Grotesques are basically gargoyles that do not serve as a waterspout

Eleven Great Things About Rum

Yo ho ho, 7 bottles of rum!

Rum is a wonderful spirit, whether mixed in cocktails or slowly sipped.  Unfortunately, many people are only familiar with it as a rum and coke, overly sweet girly cocktails or as the dangerous rum punches found at summer parties.  In order to increase drinkers’ awareness of this delightful dram, The LGA presents a list of Eleven Great Things About Rum!

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