Wednesday 30 November 2011

Permit Me To Discept

I was reading Nightmare Abbey the other day, when I came upon this opening line in a piece of dialogue:

Permit me to discept.

'Eh?' I thought, and ran to a dictionary. Discept, it turns out, is a very, very arcane way of saying disagree. However, it has the great advantage that as nobody will be quite sure what the word means, it would be hard to take offence. Moreover, as nobody has any idea what the word means it immediately establishes that you're a jolly clever person and your disception will therefore carry more weight.

As a tidbit of literary trivia, the character who utters the line, Mr Ferdinando Flosky, is a piss-take of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Nightmare Abbey also contains the wise words: "You may as well dine first, and be miserable afterwards." This is a rule by which I live.

P.S. I'll be at the author evening in Waterstones Islington tonight from five till eight. But, if you're a North West Londoner, I'll be at West End books on December the eighth; and, if you're a central Londoner, I'll be at Waterstones Covent Garden on the evening of the 15th.
Disception granted.

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