Saturday 8 May 2010


Far-flung is, if you consider it, a strange and wonderful phrase. Merely pause, dear hurrying reader. Pause and ponder. Far-flung.

These from recent news:

Frankly, it's hard to know just what to say about “Babies,” which episodically chronicles the first year in the lives of four far-flung infants. - New York Times

the whirlwind tour of Utah's far-flung Episcopalian communities - Salt Lake Tribune

Putin travelled to Franz Josef Land, a collection of far-flung Russian islands in the extreme north-east of the Barents Sea.  - The Guardian

I have often yearned to fling infants, islands and Episcopalian communities, and language lets me do just that. It also reminds me of Tennyson's Tithonus

Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Only vaguely, mind you; only vaguely.

The Inky Fool contemplates far-flung infants


  1. Do other languages provide such a wealth of interpretation to simple phases I wonder? Loved these examples...

  2. Very funny! One expects better of the NY Times, somehow, not to mention the Guardian. But would 'scattered islands' have been any better?
    Loved the drawing. This is how I think of your humour, actually. Finely drawn, graceful and effective.

  3. I should make clear that I really do love the phrase far-flung. I would weep if newspapers were to abandon it. I merely like following through on the meaning. It makes the world better.