Wednesday 18 November 2009

Meteoric Rise

Before her meteoric rise, Berlusconi told Ms Carfagna he'd "marry her in a flash" if he were single.
   -The Independent

Meteors don't rise.

They fall.

Incidentally, a meteorite is what's left of a meteor after it has hit the ground.


  1. Mr. Dogberry,

    although your posting appears clever, I contend that it is based on the false assumption that "meteoric" as an adjective is reliant on direction (e.g. "down").

    According to the The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, "meteoric" alludes to the "speed, brilliance, or brevity" of the meteor. In linguistic service these qualities of the meteor exist independently of the rise (or fall) of whatever it is that holds such speed, brilliance, or brevity.

    The only thing to crash and burn in this posting, sir, is your argument. You have needlessly sullied the reputation of meteors everywhere. Their splendor is splendid regardless of their fate.

    Edmund M. Grady
    Fmr. Treasurer, Creight Meadows Meteorite Society

  2. Edmund, I'm loving your posts here and at I think you are fabulous.

  3. Ms. Hyrkani:

    Keep your distance. You bear the marks of a stalker. I realize that Dr. Lapel is absolutely raffolé since your encounter, but I assure you I am not.


  4. In that case, Mr Grady, (and I notice that you still maintain your spidery genocidal M) one could refer to a "mouselike summer day" on the basis that mice are warm. If by meteoric you mean "fast", write fast. If by fast you mean lent, write lent. If by lent you mean leant write advanced.

  5. While you are at it, why not rename your blog "Occam's razor". Why have nuances, metaphors, and precision?

    The fact is that the beauty of meteoric travel supercedes the trite adjectives you suggest in its place. I must say I have come to expect more from this blog.

    The example with the mouse makes no sense other than objecting to figures of speech as such. I await your making the case for their dismissal from the English language. The Inky Fool himself would have to be renamed "blue-spotted imbecile", hardly to anyone's advantage.

    Edmund Madeira Grady

  6. "Mr" Grady, I don't know how it is in your hyperborean sewer (though I can guess), but we thank God are British. We spell speldour with its utterly necessary u, and we write about Ockham's razor. The H is there for a damned fine reason.
    How would you like it if I came to your country and started pronouncing all the funny Os with lines through them as though they were simply lineless?
    Eh? Eh?
    Didn't think so.

  7. I accept your deviation from the topic at hand as an implicit apology.

    Furthermore, it is none of my concern how you spell "speldour", although I would be interested to know what it is.

    As far as hyperboreans are concerned, I have never been near the mythological Thrace, although in my youth I often looked to Pindar for poetry.


  8. Quel raffinement! Even my neighbors here in the peripheral Appalachian town where I reside would disapprove.

    That said, Pindar was always overrated.

  9. I have to agree with Edmund. One of the meanings of "meteoric" is "Flashing or dazzling like a meteor, transiently or irregularly brilliant; rapid, swift; appearing suddenly" according to the OED, so "meteoric rise" makes complete sense. Anyway, this is what happens when we combine words: we create new meanings.

  10. super ale niebendzie