Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saints, Sinners, and the two Harrys

Dear Diary,

Today was a very exciting day. First I won the lottery and then I went on a horsie ride. My horsie Dobbin and I won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Also the Silver Cup, Bronze Cup, Tin cup, china mug, and thimble. Then I went home for my tea and guess who was there? Queen Elizabeth II. Her Maj. Old Liz-features herself. We played Space invaders and I beat her twice. Then she punched me. She's got a mean right hook, that old Queenie.  Then Claudia Schiffer came and tucked me up in bed. 

I've never kept a diary. I've had diaries before, but back when I was a kid my life was not crammed full of stuff to write about, so I never did. Anyway, that's by the by. I just wrote that stuff because it was way more interesting than anything I have to talk about, but still, I have to make myself write something - it's been three days for Pete's sake. Here's a thought - who are the Pete and Mike we hear about in for Pete's sake and for the love of Mike?

It's known as a "minced oath". To mince words so as not to offend anyone. The substitution of one offensive word with a less offensive one. Think of St Peter. Think of the omnipresent medieval church and think of hitting your thumb with a hammer. You can't swear, or else the local priests will have you up before the Bishop and the Lord alone knows what the outcome of that will be, so you exclaim, in the appropriate tone of voice, "For Saint Peter's sake" and carry on erecting the shelves. This phrase was amended to "For Pete's Sake" in later, less religiously oppressive, times. Betcha didn't know that. I certainly didn't. I had not really even thought about it until now.

Similarly, for the love of Mike refers to St. Michael.

This particular expression began as a substitute for an outcry of surprise or anger, namely, "for the love of God!" But the speaker decided that using God's name in this way was blasphemous and therefore decided to substitute something else for the word God.

In this case, St. Michael.

The phrase began as "for the love of Michael."

It was a soldier's mild curse. St. Michael is the patron saint of warriors and soldiers and he looks after them on the battlefield. St. Michael the Archangel is the chief of the heavenly host, the celestial army that defends the Church. He fights the rebel angels and the dragon of Revelation. He is patron saint of knights and of all trades allied to the production of weapons and scales.

Indeed, the word archangel in its original Greek means literally 'chief' (Greek,arkhos) + 'angel' (Greek, aggelos literally 'messenger' of God). In later ecclesiastical Greek the two roots meld to form arkhaggelos 'angel of the highest order.'
Note that in the currently accepted transliteration of ancient Greek the digraph gg stands for a nasalized syllable, so that aggelos would be pronounced approximately like anglos with a hard g. In precise and fussy enunciation the e would be sounded too.

That enough info for ya?


I finally got to see some episodes of Father Ted today. I can't believe I have never seen it until now. It was hilarious.  A bit later  Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone  was on. Love that movie, even though the USA changed the title to Sorcerer's  instead of Philosopher's,  and then various school districts tried to ban the book because it was about wizardry and witchcraft. Would they have banned it if it had been kept as Philosopher's? I think not, because most Americans probably don't know their Arius from their Ehrenfels

Later I watched the end of Harry Hill's TV Burp, a show I had been resisting for 3 reasons. 
1) The title. Enough to put you right off your dinner.

2) Harry Hill himself. Bald, horn-rimmed glasses, a fixed "ha-ha-aren't-I-funny" grin on his face, and a huge white shirt collar bursting out from his jacket, he looks like the kind of annoying prat comic I've always hated.

3) The fact that some local woman has gotten mentioned in the local paper 3 weeks running because she knitted a Harry Hill meerkat and sent it to the show. This is newsworthy?

However, turns out that TV Burp, despite its awful title, is basically the same as The Soup, whereby the week's TV shows are satirized and skewered, much to the amusement of the studio audience. Burp has been around since 2002, whereas Soup first aired in its current format in 2004, but was basically a revamped Talk Soup, which has been on the air since 1991. 

I actually thought TV Burp was quite funny. I was just disappointed that tonight's show was the last of the season and that it would be back in the Autumn.

Ah well...

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