18 September 2007

Scenes from a cocktail party

Annoying guest: So what are you planning on going to graduate school for?

Ardith: Sanskrit.

Annoying guest: Wow. Is there a big market for that in the world today?

Ardith: Well, no. I mean, it leads to an academic career.

Annoying guest: I had no idea that you could study something so ... specialized. So you’ll teach people to write in this ... Sanskrit’s an old kind of writing, isn’t it?

Ardith: No, Sanskrit is the most important ancient language of India. You
’re thinking of the script it’s usually written in, which is Devanagari.

Annoying guest: So, do you need to learn Indian? I mean, when you read it, do you translate in your head into Indian or English?

(long pause)

Ardith: India
’s a very linguistically diverse country, sir.

More on the sturdy barons

Blackstone, 3 Comm. 278 (1st edn., 1768):
The first return in every term is, properly speaking, the first day in that term [ . . . ]. And the court sits to take essoigns, or excuses for such as do not appear according to the summons of the writ: wherefore this is usually called the essoign day of the term. But the person summoned has three days of grace, beyond the return of the writ, in which to make his appearance; and if he appears on the fourth day inclusive, the quarto die post, it is sufficient. For our sturdy ancestors held it beneath the condition of a freeman to be obliged to appear, or do any other act, at the precise time appointed or required.
An enimently civilized attitude to tardiness.

13 September 2007

Radio play, act 3, scene 5

A: What's that in the sky? Is that because of the Empire State Building?
B: It seems like it.
A: It's awful. It looks like yellow toxic industrial smoke.
B: Oh, like in . . . um . . . what am I thinking of? . . .
A: New Jersey?
B: No, the Antonioni movie.
A: Oh, Red Desert.