Having learned my lesson, I will make no promises or predictions this time
with respect to future releases of the APF, but my honest intention is for
v9.0 to signal the start of a period of steady APF development on all
-fronts: annotation content, World Wide Web version, typeset version -
+fronts: annotation content, World Wide Web version, typeset version
everything. In a sense I still consider v9.0 an 'intermediate' version, and
I have Plans for major improvements all over. We will just have to see how
(and when!) it all plays out; for now I hope that v9.0 will be a welcome
would be a good idea to distil some of these discussions into something
with a little more persistence and staying power than individual Usenet
articles (remember that this all took place long before something like
-Google Groups -
- or indeed even the World Wide Web itself - - existed!). And
+Google Groups or indeed even the World Wide Web itself existed!). And
so the "`The Annotated Pratchett File`_" was born, and (because I was brave or
foolish enough to volunteer) I became its editor.
in ascending order by page number, with that number referring to the
edition I actually own myself, which will typically be the original UK
hardcover edition. (Some of the earlier books also list paperback page
- for more information please read the "`Page Numbers`_" section in
+numbers for more information please read the "`Page Numbers`_" section in
the "`Editorial Comments`_" chapter.)
Each annotation is prefixed by either a '+', denoting an annotation that is
in which many of the "Swords_" adventures take place. However, Terry
explicitly denied this when I suggested it on alt.fan.pratchett:
- "Bravd and the Weasel were indeed takeoffs of Leiber characters -- there
- was a lot of that sort of thing in "`The Colour of Magic`_". But I didn't --
- at least consciously, I suppose I must say -- create Ankh-Morpork as a
+ "Bravd and the Weasel were indeed takeoffs of Leiber characters – there
+ was a lot of that sort of thing in "`The Colour of Magic`_". But I didn't –
+ at least consciously, I suppose I must say – create Ankh-Morpork as a
- [p. 11/11] "[...] two lesser directions, which are Turnwise and
An interesting consideration is just when Lord Vetinari became Patrician.
- Clearly this isn't him (Vetinari eating crystallised jellyfish? -
+ Clearly this isn't him (Vetinari eating crystallised jellyfish? I
don't think so. Besides, "`Interesting Times`_" makes it quite clear that
Vetinari does not know who Rincewind is).
"I'm pretty certain that the same Patrician was in all the books. [...]
He's clearly lost weight and got more austere. It must be the pressure.
- As for racehorses and so on -
- Vetinari is not the first Patrician, and
+ As for racehorses and so on Vetinari is not the first Patrician, and
no doubt the earlier ones, like Lord Snapcase, were often crazed, greedy
and acquisitive. So he has inherited all sorts of things. But he doesn't
change anything without a reason."
When the people on afp were not immediately prepared to take his word for
- this (after all, what does he know -
- he's only the author...), Terry
+ this (after all, what does he know he's only the author...), Terry
"How about: maybe he was Vetinari, but written by a more stupid writer?"
give the house some 'cute' punning name. Since the Dun/Done association
is well-known, one of the more common names (though it is a matter of
discussion if anyone has ever actually seen a house with this name) is
- 'Dunroamin' -
- that is "done roaming" - - i.e. the owners of the house
+ 'Dunroamin' that is "done roaming" i.e. the owners of the house
have finished "travelling the world" and are now settled down to a life
of the Daily Mail, golf and coffee mornings. From this, we get that a
retirement home for gods not possessing much taste, might just be named
translation would have been the singular form: 'Zweiblume').
'Rjinswand', however, is merely something that was intended to *sound*
- foreign -
- it is not a word in any language known to the readers of
+ foreign it is not a word in any language known to the readers of
- [p. 172/149] "[...] a specialist in the breakaway oxidation phenomena of
"Space... the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship
Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek
- out new life and new civilisations -
- to boldly go where no man has gone
+ out new life and new civilisations to boldly go where no man has gone
This became "where no-one has gone before" only in the newer, more
Scandinavian language (the letters used are from the Danish/Norwegian
- Terry remarks: "The point is that Krullian isn't Swedish -
- it's *just a
+ Terry remarks: "The point is that Krullian isn't Swedish it's *just a
language that looks foreign*. In the same way, I hope the hell that when
"`Witches Abroad`_" is translated the translators use some common sense when
dealing with Nanny Ogg's fractured Esperanto."
few years ago the pubs opened at 11 a.m.
If you try really hard (one of my correspondents did) you can see this as
- a very elaborate joke via the chain: Around Elevenish --> Late in the
- morning --> Late --> Dead --> Book of the Dead. But I doubt if even Terry
+ a very elaborate joke via the chain: Around Elevenish –> Late in the
+ morning –> Late –> Dead –> Book of the Dead. But I doubt if even Terry
- [p. 10/10] Dandelion Clock
"No. I'm fairly honest about this stuff. I didn't even see the film until
long after the book was done. Once again, I'd say it's an easy parallel
- what with the Masque of the Red Death and stuff like that, the joke is
+ what with the Masque of the Red Death and stuff like that, the joke is
just lying there waiting for anyone to pick it up."
"`The Masque of the Red Death`_" is a well-known story by Edgar Allan Poe,
"I used to be a pilot," Tom explained.
"I'm into homosexual necrophilia," said Tom in dead earnest.
-- [p. 30/30] "[...] the only forest in the whole universe to be called --
- in the local language -- Your Finger You Fool, [...]"
+- [p. 30/30] "[...] the only forest in the whole universe to be called –
+ in the local language – Your Finger You Fool, [...]"
The miscommunication between natives and foreign explorers Terry
describes here occurs in our world as well. Or rather: it is *rumoured*,
Death's domain. The best known example of this can be found in the tragic
legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus went to fetch his departed loved
one, talked Hades (the Greek version of Death) into it, but had to leave
- without looking back. Of course he looked -
- and she was gone forever. A
+ without looking back. Of course he looked and she was gone forever. A
contemporary retelling of the Orpheus legend can be found in Neil
Gaiman's "Sandman_" series.
"Actually, magically appearing/disappearing shops were a regular feature
of fantasy stories, particularly in the old "Unknown_" magazine. They
- always sold the hero something he didn't -
- at the time - - know he
+ always sold the hero something he didn't at the time know he
needed, or played some other vital part in the plot. And I think they
even turned up on the early Twilight Zones too. You're referring to a
Leiber story called Bazaar of the Bizarre or something similar, where a
have flippers in place of feet and spend most of their time swimming.
- [p. 213/213] "'They do say if it's summa cum laude, then the living is
Substituting "graduation with distinction" for the Latin "summa cum
laude" gives a perfectly unexceptional sentiment, but it is, of course,
supposed to be the basis of the "witches flying around on broomsticks"
-- Kirby caricatures himself as the pointy-eared wizard on the back cover -
+- Kirby caricatures himself as the pointy-eared wizard on the back cover
anyone who has seen his picture in "`The Josh Kirby Posterbook`_" can
"Liber Paginarum Fulvarum is a kind of shared gag. It's in the dedication
of "`Equal Rites`_", too. Although I think we've got the shade of yellow
- wrong -
- I think there's another Latin word for a kind of yellow which is
+ wrong I think there's another Latin word for a kind of yellow which is
closer to the Yellow Pages colour."
The other word for yellow Terry is thinking of may possibly be 'gilvus',
'translations' like 'It's all Klatchian to me' can work, but if I went
the whole hog and 'discworlded' every name and term, then the books would
be even more impenetrable and would probably only be read by people who
- like learning Klingon. I do my best -- French fries can't exist on
- Discworld, for example -- but I think 'gypsies' is allowable."
+ like learning Klingon. I do my best – French fries can't exist on
+ Discworld, for example – but I think 'gypsies' is allowable."
- [p. 80/79] "If broomsticks were cars, this one would be a split-window
consisting of little arms which flip out of the body at roof level, just
behind the doors. Furnish the cabin in a post-War austerity style, and
power the result with a 1935 vintage 850cc straight four engine pulling
- about 30bhp. In its day, in 1948, this was the height of desirability -
+ about 30bhp. In its day, in 1948, this was the height of desirability
so much so that for its first few years it was only available for export.
Even in the Nineties, a fair number of Moggies are still going, er,
which works, because they're so easy to maintain. And the split-screen
ones are very definitely collectors' items.
-- [p. 111/109] "Bel-Shamharoth, C'hulagen, the Insider -
- the hideous old
+- [p. 111/109] "Bel-Shamharoth, C'hulagen, the Insider the hideous old
dark gods of the Necrotelicomnicom, [...]"
The Necrotelicomnicom is another reference to the Phonebook of the Dead
under the tongue of a deceased person. This was done so that the departed
loved one would have some change handy to pay Charon with (the grumpy old
ferryman who transported departed souls over the river Styx towards the
- afterlife -
- but only if they paid him first).
+ afterlife but only if they paid him first).
The Eastern European version has a similar background.
Sto lat, sto lat, niech zyje, zyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat, niech zyje, zyje nam.
- Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz -
- niech zyje, zyje nam.
+ Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz niech zyje, zyje nam.
Which loosely translates to:
DM(Unseen) means that Cutwell holds a Doctorate in Magic from Unseen
University. It's the usual way of writing an academic qualification in
Britain (e.g. DD for Doctor of Divinity, or PhD for Doctor of Philosophy)
- though the University name ought to be in Latin.
+ though the University name ought to be in Latin.
- [p. 84/69] "[...] just like a Cheshire cat only much more erotic."
Sisters`_" (see the annotation for p. 213/212 of that book).
- [p. 99/81] "'[...] the princesses were so noble they, they could pee
- through a dozen mattresses -
+ through a dozen mattresses '"
Albert here mangles the Grimm fairy tale known as "`The Princess and the
Pea`_", in which a princess proves her nobility to her future husband and
Caroc = Tarot and Ching Aling = I Ching: two ways of accessing the
Distilled Wisdom of the Ancients, and all that.
-- [p. 118/97] "I SHALL CALL IT -
- DEATH'S GLORY."
+- [p. 118/97] "I SHALL CALL IT DEATH'S GLORY."
In the fishing world there exists a popular dry fly called Greenwell's
Glory, named after its inventor, a 19th century parson.
-- [p. 126/103] "'-
- and then she thought he was dead, and she killed
+- [p. 126/103] "' and then she thought he was dead, and she killed
herself, and then he woke up and so he did kill himself, [...]'"
Ysabell starts to list off a number of tragic romances, mostly mangled
tragedy "`Romeo and Juliet`_", or perhaps the original source: Ovid's
-- [p. 127/104] "'-- swam the river every night, but one night there was
- this storm and when he didn't arrive she --'"
+- [p. 127/104] "'– swam the river every night, but one night there was
+ this storm and when he didn't arrive she –'"
This is the saga of Hero and Leander. Leander swam the Hellespont each
night to be with Hero (who was a virgin (yeah, sure!) in the service of
On the subject of scrumpy, Terry writes:
- "I can speak with authority, having lived a short walking -- to get
- there, at least, although it seemed to take longer coming back --
+ "I can speak with authority, having lived a short walking – to get
+ there, at least, although it seemed to take longer coming back –
distance from a real cider house.
1) You are unlikely to buy scrumpy anywhere but from a farm or a pub in a
- [p. 66/61] "The study of genetics on the Disc had failed at an early
stage, when wizards tried the experimental crossing of such well known
subjects as fruit flies and sweet peas. Unfortunately they didn't grasp
- the fundamentals, and the resultant offspring -- a sort of green bean
- thing that buzzed -- led a short sad life before being eaten by a passing
+ the fundamentals, and the resultant offspring – a sort of green bean
+ thing that buzzed – led a short sad life before being eaten by a passing
Sweet peas were used by Mendel in his early genetic experiments. Fruit
how he himself visualises the Patrician:
"I can't remember the guy's name, but I've always pictured the Patrician
- as looking like the father in "Beetlejuice_" -
- the man also played the
+ as looking like the father in "Beetlejuice_" the man also played the
Emperor of Austria in "Amadeus_". And maybe slightly like the head bad guy
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girded round
-- [p. 122/111] "[...] 'sherbet and, and -
- young women.'"
+- [p. 122/111] "[...] 'sherbet and, and young women.'"
'Sherbet' is a cooling Oriental fruit drink (also a frozen dessert) as
well as a fizzy sweet powder children eat as a sweet, and which comes in
- [p. 125/113] "My name is Creosote, Seriph of Al Khali, [...]"
Ok, lessee: Creosote parodies the proverbially rich Croesus (king of
- Lidya -
- which lies in what is now Turkey - - in the 6th century BC),
+ Lidya which lies in what is now Turkey in the 6th century BC),
'Serif' is a typographical term which also puns on 'caliph', and 'Al
Khali' is pronounced 'alkali' (just covering all the bases here, as my
original source put it), but probably refers to the Rub' al Khali desert
individuals. They murdered prominent individuals; hence, "assassin" in
English came to mean a politically motivated murderer.
- The name derives from the Arabic "hashashin" -
- Marco Polo and other
+ The name derives from the Arabic "hashashin" Marco Polo and other
European chroniclers claimed that the Assassins used hashish to stimulate
their fearless acts. For example, Brewer writes:
I did an electronic search across the entire King James bible for
"jewelled melons", but those appear to be an invention of Creosote's.
- Fine by me -
- I was already slightly shocked to find out that "thy hair
+ Fine by me I was already slightly shocked to find out that "thy hair
is as a flock of goats" was a genuine Biblical compliment and not
something Terry had made up.
the palace of the Emirs of Granada in 15th century Spain. As Terry says:
"Incidentally, the Seriph's palace, the Rhoxie, is indeed a 'resonance'
- with the Alhambra -
- a famous Moorish palace which became a synonym for
+ with the Alhambra a famous Moorish palace which became a synonym for
an impressive building, and later became a common cinema name as in Odeon
be admitted to if you managed a test. The test was to sit in a corner,
and *not* think of a white bear.
-- [p. 215/193] Significant Quest -
-> Trivial Pursuit.
+- [p. 215/193] Significant Quest > Trivial Pursuit.
- [p. 227/204] "Other things besides the cream floated to the top, he
Rincewind, nerving himself up to distract the Things in the Dungeon
Dimensions so that Coin can escape, is anticipating Granny Weatherwax in
this little speech. The theme is clearly important to Terry from the
- humanist angle, but its roots are in the occult -
- actively holding in
+ humanist angle, but its roots are in the occult actively holding in
mind who and what you are is a traditional exercise in a number of
mystical teachings. Note that this statement is the result of the
inspiration particle which hit Rincewind on p. 165/149.
Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; [...]"
Probably the most famous Chance (or Community Chest) card in Monopoly:
- "GO TO JAIL -
- Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect
+ "GO TO JAIL Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect
$200.". (or 200 pounds, or 200 guilders, or 200 of whatever currency you
Terry says: "Magrat is pronounced Magg-rat. Doesn't matter what I think
- is right -
- *everyone* I've heard pronounce it has pronounced it
+ is right *everyone* I've heard pronounce it has pronounced it
"In Margaret Murray's book "The Witch Cult in Western Europe" you will
'Greebo' is a word that was widely used in the early seventies to
describe the sort of man who wanders around in oil-covered denim and
leather (with similar long hair) and who settles disagreements with a
- motorcycle chain -
- the sort who would like to be a Hell's Angel but
+ motorcycle chain the sort who would like to be a Hell's Angel but
doesn't have enough style.
- [p. 50/50] "'Well met by moonlight,' said Magrat politely. 'Merry meet. A
Magrat's first greeting comes from "`A Midsummer Night's Dream_: "Ill met
by moonlight, proud Titania". See also the annotation for p. 350/252 of "`Lords
all reason, a new day would soon dawn."
The first scene of the first act of Shakespeare's "Hamlet_" starts at
- midnight, and describes a scene lasting about fifteen minutes -
- yet the
+ midnight, and describes a scene lasting about fifteen minutes yet the
act ends at dawn. Likewise, the summoning of WxrtHltl-jwlpklz the demon
takes place at night, but ends with the quote given above.
inconsistencies. After all, Greebo is supposed to have only *one* eye.
But since then, Terry has explained on a.f.p: "Greebo is loosely modelled
- on a real cat I knew when I was a kid -
- he had two eyes, but one was
+ on a real cat I knew when I was a kid he had two eyes, but one was
sort of pearly coloured. He's *blind* in one eye."
- [p. 88/87] "Magrat was picking flowers and talking to them."
Arthur: "What do you mean? An African or European
- Bridgekeeper: "Huh? I -
- I don't know that! Auuuuuuuugh!"
+ Bridgekeeper: "Huh? I I don't know that! Auuuuuuuugh!"
- [p. 103/103] "[...] (a dandelion clock at about 2 pm)."
annotation for p. 324/271 of "`Moving Pictures`_".
- [p. 167/166] "'"`Brothers! And yet may I call all men brother, for on this
This is (in spirit) the St Crispin's Day speech from "`King Henry V`_". See
the annotation for p. 239/238.
I nevertheless think there is a reference here: act 1, scene 3.
- [p. 213/212] "I'd like to know if I could compare you to a summer's day.
- Because -
- well, June 12th was quite nice, and ..."
+ Because well, June 12th was quite nice, and ..."
One of Shakespeare's more famous sonnets (Sonnet XVIII, to be precise)
A reference to Richard the Third. A rather appropriate reference: in
Shakespeare's "`Richard III`_", he is presented as an evil, lame,
hunchbacked king, whom Henry must kill to save England. This is not
- historically correct -
- rather it is how Henry would have liked people to
+ historically correct rather it is how Henry would have liked people to
remember it. Had Shakespeare strayed from the 'official' version he would
- have found himself in deep trouble with Henry's heirs -
- royalty was
+ have found himself in deep trouble with Henry's heirs royalty was
taken seriously in those days.
- [p. 213/213] "'It's art,' said Nanny. 'It wossname, holds a mirror up to
"Pyramids_" is split into four 'Books', a structure that gives it a unique
position amongst the otherwise chapterless Discworld novels ("`The Colour
- of Magic`_" doesn't really count -
- it's a collection of linked novellas,
+ of Magic`_" doesn't really count it's a collection of linked novellas,
not a single novel with chapters or sections).
Book I is "`The Book of Going Forth`_", which refers to "`The Book of Going
The most visible effect of this accord is the presumptuous little legend
under the sign at the entrance to towns and villages saying "Little
- Puddlebury -
- twinned with Obermacht am Rhein". Some towns (Croydon
+ Puddlebury twinned with Obermacht am Rhein". Some towns (Croydon
springs to mind) got a little over-enthusiastic about twinning, with the
result that they are coupled to several towns, which makes the sign
saying "Croydon welcomes careful drivers" look reminiscent of a
seventeen-year-old's jacket at a Guns n' Roses concert.
- You may -
- or may not - - care to know that the UK town of Cowes has a
+ You may or may not care to know that the UK town of Cowes has a
twin relation with the New Zealand township of Bulls.
- [p. 11/11] "Teppic paused alongside a particularly repulsive gargoyle
Terry was once asked at a talk if he was always fully in control of his
characters and events or if they tended to run away with him. The answer
- was: always in control -
- with one single exception. The whole of the
+ was: always in control with one single exception. The whole of the
assassin examination sequence in "Pyramids_" was written "almost in a
trance" with no idea of what was to happen next. It is one of his
"Er. I may as well reveal this one. That section of the book is 'somewhat
like' "`Tom Brown's Schooldays`_". A bully (right hand man to the famous
Flashman) was Speedicut. Speedicut is (was?) a name for a type of
- lawnmower -
- I know, because I had to push the damn thing... Hence...
+ lawnmower I know, because I had to push the damn thing... Hence...
Well, it's better than mugging old ladies..."
At a British public school/grammar school sports day, the pupil who
- overall won the most, was declared 'Victor Ludorum' -
- "Winner of the
+ overall won the most, was declared 'Victor Ludorum' "Winner of the
- [p. 45/45] "He could send for Ptraci, his favourite handmaiden."
TP, conforming to the sometimes bloody annoying Usenet habit of
acronymising everything longer than two words or four characters,
whichever comes first. Hence DW stands for Discworld, TCOM for "`The
- Colour of Magic`_", and APF for Annotated Pratchett File -
- but you already
+ Colour of Magic`_", and APF for Annotated Pratchett File but you already
I was later informed that 'Pterry' was also the name of a pterodactyl on
- [p. 50/49] "It's rather like smashing a sixer in conkers."
- Conkers are the nuts of the Horse Chestnut -
- not the one you eat, the
+ Conkers are the nuts of the Horse Chestnut not the one you eat, the
other one with the really spiky outer covering. It is a regular autumn
pass-time in England for school-boys to put conkers on the end of bits of
string, and commence doing battle.
are of course the usual collection of bogus seventeeners and
sixty-seveners which circulate the black market of the playing field).
There is a black art as to how to ensure that your conker becomes a sixer
- baking very slowly in the oven overnight, is one approach, as is
+ baking very slowly in the oven overnight, is one approach, as is
soaking for a week in vinegar. Most of these methods tend to make the
conkers, if anything, more rather than less brittle. There's probably a
lesson for us all in there somewhere.
as before'. Hence the quip later on: "Ibid you already know".
The only one left is Endos the Listener, who is perhaps meant to portray
- the standard second-man-in-a-Socratic-dialogue -
- the man who spends the
+ the standard second-man-in-a-Socratic-dialogue the man who spends the
entire dialogue saying things like "That is correct, Socrates", "I
agree", "you're right", "your reasoning appears correct", and the like.
A famous quotation from John Keats' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn':
- 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' -
- that is all
+ 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
- [p. 204/195] "[...] ships called the "`Marie Celeste`_", [...]"
of camels is achieved by taking two bricks and smashing the animal's
-- [p. 250/239] "'Go, tell the Ephebians -
-' he began."
+- [p. 250/239] "'Go, tell the Ephebians ' he began."
This is a paraphrase of "Go tell the Spartans", which is the beginning of
the memorial for the Spartan soldiers who got massacred by the Persians
writing: "Mostly in the Discworld books, particularly "Mort_", the phrase
is "There's no justice" so that it can be balanced with "There's just
me/you/us". And that phrase is truly generic. Really, so is "There ain't
- no justice" -
- it's just that Niven does use it a lot and, I suspect,
+ no justice" it's just that Niven does use it a lot and, I suspect,
uses it because it is familiar to readers. Admittedly, it's become 'his'
via repetition. But there's a difference between using an established
phrase which another author has commandeered and using one *specifically*
- associated with one person -
- "Make my day" has one owner, whereas "There
+ associated with one person "Make my day" has one owner, whereas "There
ain't no justice" is a cliche. To be honest, I didn't have anything
- particularly in mind when Charley uttered the phrase -
- but if you think
+ particularly in mind when Charley uttered the phrase but if you think
it's a Niven reference, fair enough."
- [p. 76/70] "'Do *real* wizards leap about after a tiny spell and start
"But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who
- is neither tarnished nor afraid." is a well-known quote -- that describes
- Carrot to a tee -- from Raymond Chandler's essay "`The Simple Art of
+ is neither tarnished nor afraid." is a well-known quote – that describes
+ Carrot to a tee – from Raymond Chandler's essay "`The Simple Art of
- [p. 93/85] "'Who loves you, pussycat?', said Nobby under his breath."
sailing to the jewel in the crown, India, and therefore the most
expensive, meaning that only the aristocracy could afford them.
- (The above explanation is in fact quite false -
- that is, it's true that
+ (The above explanation is in fact quite false that is, it's true that
posh means upper class, but the acronym is one of these persistent, oh so
plausible, after-the-fact etymologies, which are nearly always wrong.)
smoking in public; 75 pigeons were executed in 1963 in Tripoli for
ferrying stolen money across the Mediterranean; and in 1916, "five-ton
Mary" the elephant killed her trainer and was subsequently sentenced to
- death by hanging -
- a sentence that involved a 100-ton derrick and a
+ death by hanging a sentence that involved a 100-ton derrick and a
steam shovel. But the law is fair, and sometimes the animals get the
better of it: when in 1713 a Franciscan monastery brought the termites
who had been infesting their buildings to trial, a Brazilian court ruled
who had a basketball-like game where the baskets were also stone discs
with holes in them. The tale that the losers got sacrificed is probably
untrue. But the winners were allowed to take the possession of any
- spectators they chose -
- no one hung around after the game in those days.
+ spectators they chose no one hung around after the game in those days.
Other sources say that it was the *winners* who got the privilege of
being sacrificed. Oh well, whether it was losers, spectators, or winners
- at least *somebody* got sacrificed.
+ at least *somebody* got sacrificed.
- [p. 52/47] "[...] a giant-sized statue of Quetzovercoatl, the Feathered
Refers to an old and rather obscene British drinking song called 'The
Ball of Kerrymuir', which, according to Terry: "[...] belongs in the same
- category as 'Colonel Bogey' -
- everyone knows a line or two [sorry...
+ category as 'Colonel Bogey' everyone knows a line or two [sorry...
everyone male and in the UK, anyway]".
For a sample of the lyrics to this song, see the "`Song...`_" section in
The song's title was changed into the slightly more convincing-sounding
'The Ball of Philodelphus' in the small-format UK paperback of "Eric_".
-- [p. 99/82] "-
- vestal virgins, Came down from
+- [p. 99/82] " vestal virgins, Came down from
Heliodeliphilodelphiboschromenos, And when the ball was over, There were
From one of the more printable verses of 'The Ball of Kerrymuir' (see
There were four and twenty less
One page later (p. 100/83) there is a final reference to the song: "--
- the village harpy she was there --"
-- [p. 115/96] "'Multiple choice they call it, it's like painting the --
- painting the -- painting something very big that you have to keep on
+ the village harpy she was there –"
+- [p. 115/96] "'Multiple choice they call it, it's like painting the –
+ painting the – painting something very big that you have to keep on
painting, sort of thing.'"
The British proverb this refers to is "it's like painting the Forth
93/93 of "`The Light Fantastic`_"), who charmed Hades and Persephone into
releasing Eurydice by virtue of his lyre-playing.
-- [p. 153/124] "Pour encouragy le -
- poor encoura - - to make everyone sit
+- [p. 153/124] "Pour encouragy le poor encoura to make everyone sit
up and damn well take notice."
"Pour encourager les autres." See the annotation for p. 114/104 of
Sometimes people send me annotations that are so beautifully outrageous
that I simply *have* to include them. For instance, the walruses may be
connected to the boiling mercury mentioned earlier in the text, via the
- chain: boiling mercury -
-> mad hatters - -> Lewis Carroll - -> walrus.
+ chain: boiling mercury > mad hatters > Lewis Carroll > walrus.
form of 'bugger off', and 'yob' is an old term now almost entirely
synonymous to the phrase "English football supporter" (apparently Mark
Twain once said: "they are not fit to be called boys, they should be
- called yobs"). The word probably derives from 'back-chat' -
- a 19th
+ called yobs"). The word probably derives from 'back-chat' a 19th
century London thieves' argot in which words were turned round in order
to confuse police eavesdroppers. Not so far removed from Polari, in fact
(see the "`Words From The Master`_" section in Chapter 5).
inclusion. Since then *two* other people have pointed it out to me...
Terry later remarked, in response to someone mentioning the "`Doctor in
- the House`_" movie on the net: "I remember that film -
- the student in
+ the House`_" movie on the net: "I remember that film the student in
question was played by Kenneth More. All he had to do, though, was fail
- the people who drew up the will involving Victor thought they were
+ the people who drew up the will involving Victor thought they were
cleverer than that. Maybe they'd seen the film..."
- [p. 41/34] Movie producer Thomas Silverfish is directly modelled on movie
Some people were wondering if this doesn't contradict the information we
get about Elves later, in "`Lords and Ladies`_", such as that they can only
- enter our World during Circle Time -
- besides, Elves would hardly be the
+ enter our World during Circle Time besides, Elves would hardly be the
type of beings to become actors, one should think.
The answer can be found in "`Lords and Ladies`_" as well, however, on p.
Ridcully: "Elves? Everyone knows elves don't exist any more. Not
- proper elves. I mean, there's a few folk who say they're elves -
+ proper elves. I mean, there's a few folk who say they're elves "
Granny Weatherwax: "Oh, yeah. Elvish ancestry. Elves and humans breed
all right, as if that's anything to be proud of. But you just get
a race o' skinny types with pointy ears and a tendency to giggle
and burn easily in sunshine. I ain't talking about them. There's
no harm in them. I'm talking about real wild elves, what we ain't
- [p. 88/73] "'We just call it the 'Hiho' song. That's all it was.
-- [p. 197/164] "'In a word -
- im-possible!' 'That's two words,' said
+- [p. 197/164] "'In a word im-possible!' 'That's two words,' said
Another Goldwynism: "I can tell you in two words: im-possible."
subliminal advertising to actually have any measurable effect on an
-- [p. 223/186] "'It always starts off with this mountain -
+- [p. 223/186] "'It always starts off with this mountain '"
Ginger's dream describes the characteristic 'logo' scenes of all the
major movie companies. The mountain is from Paramount ("there are stars
- [p. 297/249] The climactic scene of the novel is not only a "`King Kong`_"
reversal spoof. Terry says the 50 ft. woman also refers to the
protagonist from the 1958 movie "`Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman`_" (recently
- and redundantly remade with Daryl Hannah in the title role -
- if there's
+ and redundantly remade with Daryl Hannah in the title role if there's
one movie that did not need to be remade it was this one, trust me).
- [p. 304/254] "'If it bleeds, we can kill it!'"
Whatever the original idea behind Morris dancing was, it long ago indeed
- became associated with Spring ("As fit as [...] a morris for May Day" -
+ became associated with Spring ("As fit as [...] a morris for May Day"
Shakespeare), and nowadays many Morris teams begin their dancing season
with a May Day performance. See the `_"...and Dance`_" section of Chapter 5
for more on Morris dancing.
- [p. 25/24] "'What I could do with right now is one of Mr Dibbler's famous
- meat pies -
-' And then he died."
+ meat pies ' And then he died."
The attributed last words of William Pitt the younger were: "I think I
could eat one of Bellamy's veal pies."
- [p. 60/55] The address of the Fresh Start Club: _668 Elm Street`_".
Connects a reference to the "`Nightmare on Elm Street`_" series of horror
- movies with the tentative title for a "`Good Omens`_" sequel: _668 -
+ movies with the tentative title for a "`Good Omens`_" sequel: _668 The
Neighbour of the Beast`_" (see the "`Good Omens`_" annotation on that
sherry,' said the Bursar."
VSOP is a type of brandy, not sherry. RSVP, of course, stands for
- "Respondez s'il vous plait" -
- i.e. please reply [to this invitation].
+ "Respondez s'il vous plait" i.e. please reply [to this invitation].
- [p. 105/94] "'Don't stand in the doorway, friend. Don't block up the
extraordinary amounts of mail about this annotation, and so far there
have been seven different phrases mentioned, namely:
- -- toss another shrimp on the barbie for you
- -- throw another shrimp on the barbie
- -- chuck another prawn on the barbie
- -- slap a prawn on the barbie for you
- -- shove a couple more prawns on the barbie
- -- pop another prawn on the barbie for you
- -- put another prawn on the barbie for you
+ – toss another shrimp on the barbie for you
+ – throw another shrimp on the barbie
+ – chuck another prawn on the barbie
+ – slap a prawn on the barbie for you
+ – shove a couple more prawns on the barbie
+ – pop another prawn on the barbie for you
+ – put another prawn on the barbie for you
So, can anybody tell me (a) whether the ad said 'shrimp' or 'prawn', (b)
whether the "for you" was actually part of the sentence or not, and (c)
Gary Cooper does this a few times in the 1941 movie "`Sergeant York`_".
According to my source, Cooper's explanation in the movie was "It cuts
- down the haze a mite" -
- or something along those lines.
+ down the haze a mite" or something along those lines.
- [p. 182/160] "'It's from the Dungeon Dimensions!' said the Dean. 'Cream
of the owner of the house, but would only cast the shadow at the exact
time of the owner's death.
-- [p. 204/179] "Remember -- wild, uncontrolled bursts..."
- From the movie "`Aliens_: "Remember -- short, controlled bursts...". This
+- [p. 204/179] "Remember – wild, uncontrolled bursts..."
+ From the movie "`Aliens_: "Remember – short, controlled bursts...". This
entire section is filled with action-movie references ('Yo!'), but
"`Alien_/"Aliens_" seems to have been a particularly fruitful source. Many
quotes and events have direct counterparts: "Yeah, but secreted from
When questioned about this, Terry said: "Do you really think I'm some
kind of dumbo to miss that kind of opportunity? I wrote 400 extra words
- to get it on a left-hand page in the hardcover -
- then Corgi shuffled
+ to get it on a left-hand page in the hardcover then Corgi shuffled
people in the production department when it was going through and my
careful instructions disappeared into a black hole. Go on... tell me more
without permision. Any violation is the basis for legal action. Books
containing DESIDERATA are published by Crown Publishers, N.Y.C. and can
be obtained from Tim Tiley Ltd., Bristol. The author was Max Ehrmann.
- Other permissions must be obtained from the owner of the copyright -
+ Other permissions must be obtained from the owner of the copyright
Robert L. Bell, 427 South Shore Drive, Sarasota, Florida, USA 34234.
- [p. 16/15] "'Wish *I* was going to Genua,' she said."
- [p. 20/18] "'Tempers Fuggit. Means that was then and this is now,' said
- Well -
- almost. The actual Latin phrase is "tempus fugit": "time flies".
+ Well almost. The actual Latin phrase is "tempus fugit": "time flies".
- [p. 27/24] "As Nanny Ogg would put it, when it's teatime in Genua it's
on-line versions (see the annotation for p. 34/34 of "`The Light
-- [p. 122/107] "Are you the taxgatherers, dear?' 'No, ma'am, we're -
+- [p. 122/107] "Are you the taxgatherers, dear?' 'No, ma'am, we're ' '--
fairies,' said Fairy Hedgehog quickly."
This is a "`Blues Brothers`_" reference: in the film, the dialogue goes:
In the jargon of American military planners, the DEFCON scale (for
"`Defence Readiness Condition`_") is used to describe the level of
preparedness of U.S. military forces. I quote from "`The Language of
- Nuclear War -
- An Intelligent Citizen's Dictionary`_" by H. Eric Semler,
+ Nuclear War An Intelligent Citizen's Dictionary`_" by H. Eric Semler,
James J. Benjamin, Jr., and Adam P. Gross:
"DEFCON 5 describes a state in which forces are at normal readiness,
macoutte (straw sack). Chickens are sacrificed to him by twisting their
-- [p. 176/154] "So he said 'Get me an alligator sandwich -
- and make it
+- [p. 176/154] "So he said 'Get me an alligator sandwich and make it
- It is obvious that Granny is trying to tell a joke here -
- and failing
+ It is obvious that Granny is trying to tell a joke here and failing
miserably. The problem was that quite a few readers (including yours
truly) were having trouble figuring out what that joke was supposed to be
"It is (I hope) obvious that Granny Weatherwax has absolutely no sense of
humour but she has, as it were, heard about it. She has no grasp of how
- or why jokes work -
- she's one of those people who say "And then what
+ or why jokes work she's one of those people who say "And then what
happened?" after you've told them the punchline. She can vaguely remember
- the one-liner "Give me an alligator sandwich -
- and make it snappy!" but
+ the one-liner "Give me an alligator sandwich and make it snappy!" but
since she's got no idea of why it's even mildly amusing she gets
confused... all that she can remember is that apparently the man wants it
"As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I first came across the joke in an
- ancient US comedy routine -
- Durante or someone like him. It sounds
+ ancient US comedy routine Durante or someone like him. It sounds
See the annotation for p. 195/159 of "Mort_" for another type of meta-joke
based on the alligator joke.
-- [p. 177/155] Emberella -
-> Embers; Cinderella - -> Cinders...
+- [p. 177/155] Emberella > Embers; Cinderella > Cinders...
- [p. 179/157] "'I am called Saturday.' 'Man Saturday, eh?' said Nanny Ogg."
"Seeing the elephant" also resonates nicely with "`The Lord of the Rings`_",
where Bilbo complains wistfully that he never got to see an elephant on
*his* adventures 'abroad': "[...] Aragorn's affairs, and the White
- Council, and Gondor, and the Horsemen, and Southrons, and oliphaunts --
- did you really see one, Sam? -- and caves and towers and golden trees and
+ Council, and Gondor, and the Horsemen, and Southrons, and oliphaunts –
+ did you really see one, Sam? – and caves and towers and golden trees and
goodness knows what besides. I evidently came back by much too straight a
road from my trip. I think Gandalf might have shown me round a bit."
The specific phrasing of the motto refers to what Galileo supposedly
uttered under his breath after recanting his theory to the Inquisition
(mirrored by Didactylos having to do the same in front of Vorbis); "E pur
- si muove" -
- "And yet it moves". This explains why the Chelonists say
+ si muove" "And yet it moves". This explains why the Chelonists say
"The Turtle Moves" and not, say, "It's A Turtle" or "We're On A Turtle".
After all, the point of contention is the existence of the turtle, not
whether it's mobile or stationary.
is standing on, and she answers: on the back of a second, even larger
turtle. But, asks the scientist, what does *that* turtle stand on? To
which the lady triumphantly answers: "You're very clever, young man, but
- it's no use -
- it's turtles all the way down!".
+ it's no use it's turtles all the way down!".
+ [p. 53/39] "'He was eight feet tall? With a very long beard? And a huge
staff? And the glow of the holy horns shining out of his head?'"
- [p. 83/60] "Below it, the doors of the Great Temple, each one made of
forty tons of gilded bronze, opened by the breath (it was said) of the
- Great God Himself, swung open ponderously and -- and this was the holy
+ Great God Himself, swung open ponderously and – and this was the holy
The doors of a temple in Alexandria were opened by a steam engine
designed by the Greek philosopher Hero. With similar legends surrounding
earliest executive toy?) There is no evidence that he ever used the
invention for any real work (e.g. opening doors).
-- [p. 87/64] "'And -
- that other one. The *eminence grease*.'"
+- [p. 87/64] "'And that other one. The *eminence grease*.'"
Eminence grise = "grey eminence", as in "shadowy power".
American friends tracked variations of it back to the last century and
the anonymous mists of folk Christianity. So I used it, like everyone
else has done. Like 'Lord of the Dance', it's one of those songs that
- transcends a specific religion -
- and also a very attractive use of
+ transcends a specific religion and also a very attractive use of
- [p. 105/77] "The Voice of the Turtle was heard in the land."
- [p. 152/110] "[...] if Xeno the Ephebian said, 'All Ephebians are liars
This is the Liar Paradox again. See the annotation for p. 252/222 of
Play on Descartes' famous philosophical pronouncement "Cogito, ergo sum"
- "I think, therefore I am".
+ "I think, therefore I am".
- [p. 153/111] "'Thesis plus antithesis equals hysteresis,' said Ibid."
Or, as the "`Goon Show`_" put it:
- -- "What's a Greek urn?"
- -- "It's a vase made by Greeks for storing liquid."
- -- "I wasn't expecting that answer."
- -- "Neither were quite a few smart-alec listeners."
+ – "What's a Greek urn?"
+ – "It's a vase made by Greeks for storing liquid."
+ – "I wasn't expecting that answer."
+ – "Neither were quite a few smart-alec listeners."
- [p. 178/128] "'Worried, eh? Feeling a bit Avis Domestica? Cluck-cluck?'"
- Actually, the Latin name for 'chicken' is "`Gallus Domesticus`_" -
+ Actually, the Latin name for 'chicken' is "`Gallus Domesticus`_" even
though 'avis' by itself does mean 'bird'.
- [p. 178/129] "He caught a glimpse of a circle of damp sand, covered with
prefix meaning "right" as in "right hand". 'Sinistr-' is the prefix
meaning "left". Hence: ambi-sinister = having two left hands.
-- [p. 182/131] "The Library of Ephebe was -
- before it burned down - - the
+- [p. 182/131] "The Library of Ephebe was before it burned down the
second biggest on the Disc."
Refers of course to our world's Alexandrian Library. Brewer tells us that
story "`The Library of Babel`_", where a vast universe is described which
contains *all* possible books (assuming a finite alphabet and a fixed
book size the number of all possible books is mindbogglingly huge, but
- finite) -
- in random order. Most books in such a library would appear
+ finite) in random order. Most books in such a library would appear
written by the 'monkey and typewriter' brigade, but all the coherent
books, whether actually written or not, are in there as well.
steam. I think I could do something with a pair of revolving balls.'"
Urn's steam engines are more or less identical to the ones that were
- described by Archimedes and used in ancient Ephebe -
- I mean Greece.
+ described by Archimedes and used in ancient Ephebe I mean Greece.
These engines also used copper spheres as heating vessels, and these
spheres did, in fact, have a regrettable tendency to explode, which is
what limited their use until some bright person thought of adding
When the centrifugal force gets large enough to lift the balls up, the
movement opens a safety valve that lets off the steam, causing the
rotation to slow down and the balls to come down again, closing the
- valve, etc. -
- a simple but ingenious negative feedback device.
+ valve, etc. a simple but ingenious negative feedback device.
- [p. 264/190] "There was a city once [...] there were canals, and gardens.
There was a lake. They had floating gardens on the lake,[...]. Great
A solution doesn't 'come along'; it's built into the fabric of the story
from an early stage. "`Guards! Guards!`_" and "`Interesting Times`_" both use
- this device. I'd suggest that such a resolution is perfectly valid -
+ this device. I'd suggest that such a resolution is perfectly valid as
they say, using a gun to shoot the bad guy in Act 3 is only okay if the
gun has been on the wall since Act 1. In "`Small Gods`_", though, not a
single new thing is introduced or resurrected in order to defeat Vorbis
- he's defeated because of the way various characters react to events.
+ he's defeated because of the way various characters react to events.
The problem contains the solution coiled inside.
If it's cowardice not to kill off your heroes but let them survive
This is another Christopher Marlowe quote, from "`The Jew of Malta`_" (act
- Barnadine: "Thou hast committed -
+ Barnadine: "Thou hast committed "
Barabas: "Fornication? But that was in another country; and besides,
for a book on hunting, and by pop-group A-ha as an album title. It
originally is the title of an old Scandinavian fairy tale, which can be
found in a book by Kay Nielsen, titled "`East of the Sun and West of the
- Moon -
- Old Tales from the North`_". Terry has confirmed that this book was
+ Moon Old Tales from the North`_". Terry has confirmed that this book was
his source for the phrase.
'Behind the North Wind': from the title of a book by George McDonald: "`At
- [p. 118/86] "[...] universes swoop and spiral around one another like
[...] a squadron of Yossarians with middle-ear trouble."
- Terry writes: "Can it be that this is forgotten? Yossarian -- the 'hero'
- of "`Catch-22`_" -- was the bomber pilot who flew to the target twisting and
- jinking in an effort to avoid the flak -- as opposed to the Ivy League
+ Terry writes: "Can it be that this is forgotten? Yossarian – the 'hero'
+ of "`Catch-22`_" – was the bomber pilot who flew to the target twisting and
+ jinking in an effort to avoid the flak – as opposed to the Ivy League
types who just flew nice and straight..."
A minor correction: Yossarian was not the pilot, but rather the
Since theoretical physicists don't like odd numbers they have postulated
- the existence of a sixth quark -
- 'truth', which was only recently
+ the existence of a sixth quark 'truth', which was only recently
created at FermiLab in the USA.
The beauty and truth quarks are often called 'bottom' and 'top'
Granny refers to the traditional explanation for hanging horseshoes over
the door, which is that they bring luck, but only if placed with the open
- side up -
- otherwise the luck would just run out the bottom.
+ side up otherwise the luck would just run out the bottom.
- [p. 172/125] "'Good morrow, brothers, and wherehap do we whist this merry
day?' said Carter the baker."
habits could well be explained by taking into account the fact that the
Discworld has eight seasons (see first footnote in "`The Colour of Magic`_"
on p. 11/11), which might result in e.g. two autumns a year. And of
- course, on our world April *is* indeed a month in Autumn -
- in the
+ course, on our world April *is* indeed a month in Autumn in the
southern hemisphere (don't ask me if that also holds for a Discworld,
+ [p. 193/139] "'I mean, we used to have a tradition of rolling boiled eggs
- downhill on Soul Cake Tuesday, but -
+ downhill on Soul Cake Tuesday, but '"
It is in fact a Lithuanian tradition (one of many) to roll boiled eggs
downhill on Easter Sunday in a game similar to lawn bowls. The idea is to
actual Morris step, and "bean setting" is the name of a dance and, by
extension, a name for a move used in that dance.
-- [p. 298/215] "'Girls used to go up there if they wanted to get -
+- [p. 298/215] "'Girls used to go up there if they wanted to get '"
Women who wished to conceive would spend the night on the um, appropriate
bit of the Cerne Abbas Giant site in Dorset. See the annotation for p.
Pratchett Archives contain a file with more information about the oghamic
alphabet, including pictures of the individual characters.
-- [p. 307/221] "'Hiho, hiho -
+- [p. 307/221] "'Hiho, hiho '"
See the annotation for p. 88/73 of "`Moving Pictures`_".
made of iron at all, was it so effective against the Elves? Terry
- "A tin bath isn't made out of tin. It's invariably galvanised iron -
+ "A tin bath isn't made out of tin. It's invariably galvanised iron ie,
zinc dipped. They certainly rust after a while."
- [p. 382/274] "[...] he called it "`The Taming Of The Vole`_" [...]"
"Discworld and some associated names are subject to various forms of
trademark, but we don't make a big thing about it. We've had to take some
very gentle action in the past and the trademarking is a precautionary
- measure -
- it's too late to do it when you're knee-deep in lawyers. There
+ measure it's too late to do it when you're knee-deep in lawyers. There
will be a computer game next year, and possibly a record album. We have
- But -
- I stress - - it's not done to discourage fans, or prevent the
+ But I stress it's not done to discourage fans, or prevent the
general usage of Discworld, etc, in what I'd loosely call fandom. By now
afp readers ought to know that. It's been done so that we have a decent
lever if there's a BIG problem."
"Hmm. We wondered about the cover 'giving away half the plot' and decided
- to go with it -
- especially since Josh got the Gonne exactly right from
+ to go with it especially since Josh got the Gonne exactly right from
the description. But I'd say it's pretty obvious VERY early in the book
what sort of thing we're dealing with. That's what distinguishes a
'police procedural' from a mystery; after all, you know from the start
Arthurian legend, Holy Grail, that kind of stuff.
- [p. 24/18] "Silicon Anti-Defamation League had been going on at the
Cf. the real life Jewish Anti-Defamation League.
- [p. 64/47] "Captain Vimes paused at the doorway, and then thumped the
- palm of his hand on his forehead. [...] 'Sorry, excuse me -- mind like a
- sieve these days -- [...]'"
+ palm of his hand on his forehead. [...] 'Sorry, excuse me – mind like a
+ sieve these days – [...]'"
Acting like a bumbling fool, making as if to leave, then smacking his
head, 'remembering' something in the doorway, and unleashing an absolute
Street Blues`_" is the one that I was immediately reminded of.
- [p. 94/71] "'That's three beers, one milk, one molten sulphur on coke
- with phosphoric acid -
+ with phosphoric acid '"
Phosphoric acid is in fact an ingredient of Coca Cola. It's part of the
0.5 % that isn't water or sugar.
- [p. 135/102] "A lot of equipment had been moved away, however, to make
room for a billiard table. [...] 'My word. Perhaps we're adding just the
- right amount of camphor to the nitro-cellulose after all -
+ right amount of camphor to the nitro-cellulose after all '"
In reality, nitro-cellulose (also known as guncotton) is an extremely
explosive substance that was discovered by people trying to make
Terry has confirmed that Grope Alley is based on Threadneedle Street in
the City of London, which used to be the haunt of prostitutes and hence
- rejoiced in the name 'Gropecunte Lane' -
- its modern name is just a more
+ rejoiced in the name 'Gropecunte Lane' its modern name is just a more
euphemistic way of putting things. It's the site of the Bank of England.
Some would consider this to be appropriate.
Take an old, battered car of the type that the Waynes and Kevins of our
- world (boyfriends to Sharon and Tracey -- see the annotation for p.
- 106/95 of "`Reaper Man`_") often drive -- a Ford Cortina or Capri is the
+ world (boyfriends to Sharon and Tracey – see the annotation for p.
+ 106/95 of "`Reaper Man`_") often drive – a Ford Cortina or Capri is the
usual candidate in the UK. Respray it metallic purple. Some go-faster
stripes, possibly a la 'Starsky and Hutch' may be appropriate at this
time. Plaster rear window with car stickers in dubious taste: "Passion
- wagon -
- don't laugh it could be your daughter inside", "My other car is
+ wagon don't laugh it could be your daughter inside", "My other car is
a Porsche", or even: "I <heart> Ankh-Morpork". Advanced students might
like to experiment with a stick-on cuddly Garfield in the rear window.
Put in stretch seat-covers, preferably in luminous pink fur. Add a
Terry is not referring to Mountain Dew, the American soft drink, but is
- using the term in its original meaning, as a colloquialism for whisky -
+ using the term in its original meaning, as a colloquialism for whisky
particularly, the homemade 'moonshine' variety.
- [p. 218/165] VIA CLOACA
Loofah is a genus of tropical climbing plant bearing a fruit, the fibrous
skeleton of which is used for scrubbing backs in the bath.
-- [p. 238/180] "'Hi-ho -
- '-- hi-ho - -' 'Oook oook oook oook ook - -'"
+- [p. 238/180] "'Hi-ho hi-ho ' 'Oook oook oook oook ook '"
The dwarvish hiho-song. See the annotation for p. 88/73 of "`Moving
- [p. 251/190] "'All right, no one panic, just stop what you're doing, stop
what you're doing, please. I'm Corporal Nobbs, Ankh-Morpork City Ordnance
- Inspection City Audit -
- [...] Bureau ... Special ... Audit ...
+ Inspection City Audit [...] Bureau ... Special ... Audit ...
Nobby is imitating Eddie Murphy. Terry explains:
would be called esker or kame, which are of course fluvioglacial products
rather than just glacial.
- Hey, don't look at me -
- I'm just the messenger...
+ Hey, don't look at me I'm just the messenger...
- [p. 258/196] "Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse
From the old saying: "It is better to light a candle than curse the
-- [p. 258/196] "'Lord Vetinari won't stop at sarcasm. He might use' --
- Colon swallowed -- '*irony*.'"
+- [p. 258/196] "'Lord Vetinari won't stop at sarcasm. He might use' –
+ Colon swallowed – '*irony*.'"
This reminded many correspondents of Monty Python's 'Dinsdale' sketch:
the tour of duty was fixed so the 'grunts' knew exactly how long, to the
day, until they were due back in 'the world'. A short timer was one who
didn't have long to go and therefore didn't want to put himself at undue
- risk -
- hence "I'm too short for this shit".
+ risk hence "I'm too short for this shit".
Another popular reference to this expression is "I'm too old for this
shit", a catchphrase for Danny Glover's character in the "`Lethal Weapon`_"
novel, and only then did I understand how the phrase came by its bad
- "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -
- except at
+ "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents except at
occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which
swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling
along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps
"As far as I'm aware, the Death/Dr Who 'coincidences' are in the mind of
the beholders :-) Death can move through space and time, yes, but that's
built in to the character. I made his house bigger on the inside than the
- outside so that I could have quiet fun with people's perceptions -
+ outside so that I could have quiet fun with people's perceptions in
the same way that humans live in tiny 'conceptual' rooms inside the
vastness of the 'real' rooms. Only Death (or those humans who currently
have Death-perception) not only sees but even experiences their full
She got the name because it's the one that gets the most variation, and
got the hairstyle because it's been a nice weird hairstyle ever since the
- Bride of Frankenstein. She's not based on anyone, as far as I know -
+ Bride of Frankenstein. She's not based on anyone, as far as I know
certainly not Neil's Death, who is supercool and by no means a
In 1981, Steinman recorded the album "`Bad For Good`_" by himself (he either
had a falling out with Meatloaf or the latter had voice problems at the
- time -
- the story is not clear on this point) but in any case Steinman
+ time the story is not clear on this point) but in any case Steinman
had originally intended the album as a Meatloaf project, but eventually
decided to use his own vocals). On that album appeared a song (soliloquy,
really), called 'Love and Death and an American Guitar', which begins
I suppose I might as well mention the rest of the story while I'm at it,
or else my mailbox will start filling up again: in 1993, Steinman and
Meatloaf finally teamed up together again and recorded the album "`Bat out
- of Hell II -
- Back to Hell`_". The track called 'Wasted Youth' turned out
+ of Hell II Back to Hell`_". The track called 'Wasted Youth' turned out
to be a re-recording of 'American Guitar', but it is still recited by Jim
- [p. 26/20] "I MAY BE SOME TIME, said Death."
- Terry *likes* this quote -
- it's the third time he's used it. See also
+ Terry *likes* this quote it's the third time he's used it. See also
the annotations for p. 258/226 of "`Reaper Man`_" and p. 236/170 of "`Small
The line from 'The Raven' fully goes: "Quoth the raven 'Nevermore'."
- Quoth the Raven -
- get it?
+ Quoth the Raven get it?
- [p. 56/42] "Lunch was Dead Man's Fingers and Eyeball Pudding, [...]"
thinking out loud about the many people who didn't get the Djelibeybi
reference (see the annotation for p. 17/17 of "Pyramids_"):
- "[...] say Djelibeybi OUT LOUD -
- I must have had twenty letters (and one
+ "[...] say Djelibeybi OUT LOUD I must have had twenty letters (and one
or two emails) from people who didn't twig until the third time round...
oh god... do they have them in the US? Should it have been called
Emmenemms, or Hersheba... hmm, Hersheba... could USE that, yes, little
and movies that "`Soul Music`_" has been copied from: the whole Klatchian
Foreign Legion bit has its roots in 'Beau Geste', which was *the* Foreign
Legion movie. It must be one of the most parodied, echoed and copied
- movies of all time -
- it was so influential that it is probably where
+ movies of all time it was so influential that it is probably where
most people's ideas of the FFL originate."
- [p. 112/84] "There was a riot going on."
- [p. 120/90] "'Cliff? Can't see anyone lasting long in *this* business
with a name like *Cliff*'."
- A reference to Cliff Richard -
- see the annotation for p. 48/45 of
+ A reference to Cliff Richard see the annotation for p. 48/45 of
"`Johnny and the Dead`_".
- [p. 121/91] "'Moving around on your seat like you got a pant full of
One of my favourite Pratchett puns ever. Thelonious Monk is one of our
world's most highly regarded jazz musicians (though he played the piano,
- not the horn -
- you'd want Miles Davis for that).
+ not the horn you'd want Miles Davis for that).
- [p. 220/166] "'Cavern Deep, Mountain High?' said Glod."
- [p. 264/199] "'We're Certainly Dwarfs', said Dibbler. 'Yes, that might
- Terry is a fan of a fairly obscure band (in Europe at least -
- in America
+ Terry is a fan of a fairly obscure band (in Europe at least in America
they are a bit better known) called They Might Be Giants (he has
mentioned on a.f.p. that their 'Where your Eyes don't Go' is the scariest
- song he's ever heard -
- not that scary is a word I'd normally associate
+ song he's ever heard not that scary is a word I'd normally associate
with TMBG, mind you, but then I don't know that particular song).
Anyway, 'We're Certainly Dwarfs' appears to be the Discworld answer to
- [p. 265/199] "'So now we're Suck,' said Crash."
- [p. 270/203] "[...] a name like JOE'S LIVERY STABLE, [...]"
In Daniel Pinkwater's book "`Lizard Music`_" a major character is the
Chicken Man, an apparently homeless man who walks around with a chicken
perched on his head (under a hat). The Chicken Man is a lot more together
- than The Duck Man -
- he periodically does little street shows featuring
+ than The Duck Man he periodically does little street shows featuring
the chicken, who does tricks. According to Pinkwater, the Chicken Man was
based on a real person who lived in Chicago.
- [p. 278/209] "'They follow actors and musicians around,' he said,
- 'because of, you know, the glamour and everything -
+ 'because of, you know, the glamour and everything '"
While it is obvious that Buddy is talking about the phenomenon of
groupies, it is also interesting to note that the word 'glamour' is
- [p. 300/226] "'In like Flint, eh?'"
"In like Flynn" is the normal expression, going back to Errol Flynn's
- sexual transgressions -
- at one point he was even charged with statutory
+ sexual transgressions at one point he was even charged with statutory
rape, arrested and brought to trial, then acquitted.
- [p. 306/231] ""`I can feel it. Every day. It's getting closer..._"
Physics`_", then became "`Imperial Wizard`_" for a few days, and finally ended
up as "`Interesting Times_:
- "Rincewind and Cohen are having such fun -- that is to say, death and
- terror attend them at every step -- on the Counterweight Continent and
+ "Rincewind and Cohen are having such fun – that is to say, death and
+ terror attend them at every step – on the Counterweight Continent and
the Forbidden City of the Agatean Empire that it might well end up being
called: "`Imperial Wizard`_" ...which ought to sell well in the US. In some
"The editor and my main beta-test reader have raised objections to the
title "`Unclear Physics`_". They think it's a lovely title but they don't
think it's a good one for this book. Nor do I, because I've got a better
- use for it -
- I've realised how to utilize the squash court in UU... So
+ use for it I've realised how to utilize the squash court in UU... So
it will be the original working title: "`Interesting Times`_". At least for
A paternoster (in this context) is a closed-loop elevator of linked
- carriages, somewhat like the bucket chain principle applied to people -
+ carriages, somewhat like the bucket chain principle applied to people
- [p. 45/36] "[...] the aquarium had been lowered on its davits so that the
French during the Taiping Rebellion of 1860. Terry acknowledges:
"I had 'storming the winter palace' in mind because, yes, the events of
- the Russian revolution are more familiar to us -
- and then I came across
+ the Russian revolution are more familiar to us and then I came across
the storming of the summer palace while reading up on Chinese torture. It
took me some effort not to find some joke about the Taiping Rebellion, I
have to say... and as for the Boxer Rising..."
totally different meanings. Languages such as Chinese and Japanese pay
great attention to the pitch and intonation of words, and the same word
with a different intonation can indeed have radically different meanings.
- (Of course not all different meanings are due to intonation -
- there are
+ (Of course not all different meanings are due to intonation there are
other possibilities, such as vowel lengths, and some words just naturally
have many different meanings).
"During WWII Hollywood obviously made a lot of gung-ho war movies. But...
who could play the Japanese? The Japanese in the US were banged up in
holiday camps in Death Valley or someplace. So the producers roped in
- anyone who 'looked Japanese' -
- mainly Koreans, the story runs. The
+ anyone who 'looked Japanese' mainly Koreans, the story runs. The
actors didn't really have lines since their job was, basically, to be
shot by John Wayne. In order to give them something 'Japanese sounding'
to say, some genius suggested they shout, very fast, "I tie your shoe,
- [p. 11] "'We're going to have to get Mr Cripslock to engrave page 11
- again,' he said mournfully. 'He's spelt "famine" with seven letters -
+ again,' he said mournfully. 'He's spelt "famine" with seven letters '"
A reference to the celebrated 'famine' error in the Corgi paperback
edition of "`Good Omens`_". See the annotation for p. 154/98 of "`Good
-- [p. 12] "'Well, my old granny used to make Spotted Dick -
+- [p. 12] "'Well, my old granny used to make Spotted Dick '"
See the annotation for p. 88/77 of "`Witches Abroad`_".
- [p. 32] "She at least respected anyone's right to recreate themselves."
- As does Terry himself -
- see the annotation for p. 20/15 of "`Soul Music`_".
+ As does Terry himself see the annotation for p. 20/15 of "`Soul Music`_".
- [p. 36] "'"`The Joye of Snacks`_",' she read out loud."
act 1. This occurs when Christine and Raoul secretly pledge their love
for each other, which the Phantom overhears.
-- [p. 47] "'It's white bone! He has no nose!' [...] 'Then how does he -
+- [p. 47] "'It's white bone! He has no nose!' [...] 'Then how does he '
From the old joke, made famous by Monty Python's "The funniest joke in
And yes, I know this joke isn't the one that the sketch is named after.
The funniest joke in the world (which, in the German translation,
Nunstuck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt
-- [p. 56] "'"`Schneide meinen eigenen Hals`_" -
+- [p. 56] "'"`Schneide meinen eigenen Hals`_" '"
German for: "Cut My Own Throat".
"`Discworld Merchandise FAQ`_", available from the Pratchett Archives.
One particular item of jewellery they sell is the _anorankh`_", a small
- model of an Egyptian cross wearing an anorak. (Don't ask -
- but in case
+ model of an Egyptian cross wearing an anorak. (Don't ask but in case
you think you want to know: the precise story of how the anorankh came
into existence can be found in the "`Holy Anorankh`_" file, also available
from the Pratchett Archives.)
resident net.goddess and therefore one of the most 'visible' females on
the group, was one of the most popular proposal targets. (For more
detailed information about marriage proposals and other characteristic
- a.f.p. habits, see the "`A.f.p. Timeline`_" file, also available from -- you
- guessed it -- the Pratchett Archives.)
+ a.f.p. habits, see the "`A.f.p. Timeline`_" file, also available from – you
+ guessed it – the Pratchett Archives.)
With all this background information in mind, I'll let Colette herself
tell the rest of the story:
On 31st December 1994, completely out of the blue, I got an email from
Terry. In it he said he was doing the polishing draft of "Maskerade_" and
which of the following two characters would I like to be called Colette
- the make-up girl at the Opera House, or one of the 'young ladies' at
+ the make-up girl at the Opera House, or one of the 'young ladies' at
Mrs. Palm's and that mention might be made of her interesting earrings.
When I had picked myself up off the floor, and being the mischievous soul
that I am, I wrote back to Terry and asked if Colette could be one of the
but also to receive lots of marriage proposals from men she hardly knew.
When I got my copy of "Maskerade_" signed, Terry wrote in it 'What's a
- nice girl like you doing in a book like this?' -
- a dedication in the
+ nice girl like you doing in a book like this?' a dedication in the
same league as that which he wrote when he signed my Discworld game
booklet, which was 'To Colette, Will you marry me?'"
different roles in the same play.
Many people have also spotted that the description Terry gives of Walter
- Plinge -
- beret, brown coat, nervousness, clumsy - - is very similar to
+ Plinge beret, brown coat, nervousness, clumsy is very similar to
that of Frank Spencer, the lead character in the British television
comedy "`Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em`_". Frank Spencer was played by Michael
Crawford, who went on to become truly famous as the original... Phantom
See the annotation for p. 239/172 of "`Lords and Ladies`_".
-- [p. 149] "Let us examine the role of Laura in "`Il Truccatore`_" -
+- [p. 149] "Let us examine the role of Laura in "`Il Truccatore`_" "The
Master Of Disguise", also sometimes vulgarly known as "The Man with a
for the City Watch in "`The Discworld Companion`_".
- [p. 257] "[...] as the opening bars of the duet began, opened her mouth
- 'Stop right there!'"
A strong resonance with Ellen Foley's character refusing to continue the
duet 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light' with Meatloaf halfway through the
+ [frontispiece] The mottoes and crests are mostly explained in the book,
but for completeness they are:
- Edward St John de Nobbes: "capite omnia" -- "take it all"
- Gerhardt Sock (butcher): "futurus meus est in visceris" -- "my
+ Edward St John de Nobbes: "capite omnia" – "take it all"
+ Gerhardt Sock (butcher): "futurus meus est in visceris" – "my
future is in the entrails"
- Vetinari: "si non confectus non reficiat" -
- "if it ain't broke,
+ Vetinari: "si non confectus non reficiat" "if it ain't broke,
don't fix it" (a saying popularised by Lyndon B Johnson,
- Assassins Guild: "nil mortifice sine lucre" -
- "no killing
+ Assassins Guild: "nil mortifice sine lucre" "no killing
- Rudolph Potts (baker): "quod subigo farinam" -
- "because I knead
+ Rudolph Potts (baker): "quod subigo farinam" "because I knead
- Thieves' Guild: "acutus id verberat" -- "sharp's the word"
- Vimes family: "protego et servio" -- "I protect and serve". In the
- centre of the crest is the number 177, which -- we learnt in "`Men
- at Arms`_" -- is Vimes' own badge number.
+ Thieves' Guild: "acutus id verberat" – "sharp's the word"
+ Vimes family: "protego et servio" – "I protect and serve". In the
+ centre of the crest is the number 177, which – we learnt in "`Men
+ at Arms`_" – is Vimes' own badge number.
+ [p. 7] "WE HEAR YOU WANT A GOLEM."
+ [p. 8] "'Yeah, right, but you hear stories ... Going mad and making
too many things, and that.'"
- One episode in the life of the golem of Prague -- the best known of the
- mythical creatures -- tells that the golem was ordered to fetch water,
+ One episode in the life of the golem of Prague – the best known of the
+ mythical creatures – tells that the golem was ordered to fetch water,
but never told to stop, thus causing a flood. This is very similar to
(and may be borrowed from) the classic children's story "`The Sorcerer's
Apprentice`_" ("`Der Zauberlehrling`_", a German poem by Goethe), also used in
Bluemantle (Terry gives us the 'Pardessus Chatain' or 'Brown Overcoat').
Senior to the pursuivants are the kings of arms, although none really
- corresponds to 'Dragon'. This has been linked with 'Dracula' -- the most
- famous vampire of all -- which is itself a title meaning 'little dragon'.
+ corresponds to 'Dragon'. This has been linked with 'Dracula' – the most
+ famous vampire of all – which is itself a title meaning 'little dragon'.
It also harks back to "`Guards! Guards!`_", in which a dragon actually
*became* king of Ankh-Morpork, albeit briefly.
- "Excretus Est Ex Altitudine" -- Shat On From a Great Height; "Depositatum
- De Latrina" -- Chucked Down The Toilet.
+ "Excretus Est Ex Altitudine" – Shat On From a Great Height; "Depositatum
+ De Latrina" – Chucked Down The Toilet.
+ [p. 38] "'The butcher, the baker and the candlestick-maker.'"
+ [p. 44] "'Delphine Angua von Uberwald,' read the Dragon aloud."
Uberwald (on "`The Discworld Mapp`_" spelled with an umlaut over the U) is
- 'Over/beyond the forest' in German. In Latin, that's "Transylvania" -
+ 'Over/beyond the forest' in German. In Latin, that's "Transylvania" a
part of Romania traditionally associated with the undead (most
prominently, Count Dracula).
+ [p. 45] "Men said things like 'peace in our time' or 'an empire that
will last a thousand years,' [...]"
- "peace in our time" -
- Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, in
+ "peace in our time" Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, in
- "an empire that will last a thousand years" -
- Adolf Hitler, on the Third
+ "an empire that will last a thousand years" Adolf Hitler, on the Third
+ [p. 46] "Constable Visit was an Omnian, [...]"
All he golems' names are Yiddish, and Dorfl is no exception, although I'm
not too sure what his means. It could be a pun on "Stedtl", which means
- "ghetto" -
- Stadt is German for "town", Dorf for "village". In Austria,
+ "ghetto" Stadt is German for "town", Dorf for "village". In Austria,
'Dorfl' is indeed a word used to denote a small village.
+ [p. 93] "'Feeding the yudasgoat?'"
James I and Charles I. The court took its name from a star-shaped
decoration in the ceiling.
- The decoration in the ceiling of the Rats Chamber -- a group of rats with
- their tails tied together -- is called a rat king. According to Maarten
+ The decoration in the ceiling of the Rats Chamber – a group of rats with
+ their tails tied together – is called a rat king. According to Maarten
't Hart, in "Rats_" (translated from the Dutch), some 57 rat kings have
been found since the 17th century, although several are of dubious
authenticity. They are often found alive, and can contain as few as three
+ [p. 177] "'... push off back to the Yard, job done and dusted.'"
- This phrase relates to the act of distempering a wall -
- another oblique
+ This phrase relates to the act of distempering a wall another oblique
hint at the wallpaper theory.
+ [p. 181] "'*Now* we're cooking with charcoal!'"
already knows enough to dismiss it in fairly short order.
+ [p. 195] "'Then there's this one about the Klatchian who walks into a
- pub with a tiny piano -
+ pub with a tiny piano '"
The joke as adapted by thee goode folkes of alt.fan.pratchett goes like
Never mind Robocop, however: one correspondent has posited that the
entire candle factory sequence is a clever amalgam of the endings to
*both* "Terminator_" movies. I will let him explain this to you in his
- own words -
- I couldn't bring myself to paraphrase or edit it down:
+ own words I couldn't bring myself to paraphrase or edit it down:
"The candle factory itself, with all the candle production lines is
reminiscent of the robotics in the automated factory that Reese
from elsewhere (heart as opposed to head).
In T1, Reese finds a metal bar and tries to fight an opponent he can't
- possibly beat -
- exactly as Carrot does. When Angua finds herself
+ possibly beat exactly as Carrot does. When Angua finds herself
facing the injured king, it is similar to the scene in T1 after
Reese's death, when the torso of the Terminator pulls itself along
after the injured Sarah, grabbing at her legs (which the king also
ammo just at the crucial point. When it appears that the seemingly
invincible king has survived everything and is about to finish the job
and kill Carrot, the thought-to-be-dead Dorfl makes a last-gasp
- interjection which finally kills the king -
- much like the resurrected
+ interjection which finally kills the king much like the resurrected
Arnie appears just in time to kill the T-1000 in T2. Oh, and finally,
the molten tallow that Cheery almost falls into is, of course, the
molten metal at the end of T2."
I want more golems on the city payroll. How else can they resurrect the
- The names of the golems, again, are Yiddish. "Klutz" -- a clumsy clod or
- bungler (from German); "Bobkes" -- beans, but only metaphorically;
- something worthless or nonsensical (from Russian); "Shmata" -- a rag, or
+ The names of the golems, again, are Yiddish. "Klutz" – a clumsy clod or
+ bungler (from German); "Bobkes" – beans, but only metaphorically;
+ something worthless or nonsensical (from Russian); "Shmata" – a rag, or
piece of cloth; used both literally and to describe a person of weak
+ [p. 285] "'*Not* a problem, me old china,' he said."
- Rhyming slang: china plate -
- mate, friend.
+ Rhyming slang: china plate mate, friend.
+ [p. 285] "'Somewhere, A Crime Is Happening,' said Dorfl."
it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?'"
This is a rephrasing of Pascal's Wager: "If you believe in God and turn
- out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing -
- but if you don't believe in
+ out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing but if you don't believe in
God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to hell. Therefore it is
foolish to be an atheist." (Formulation quoted from the alt.atheism
"Common Arguments" webpage,
Clarence, Earl of Emsworth, as an all-purpose call to food, and used in
the enforced absence of his pig man to get the mighty Empress back to the
trough. As such it is perhaps not surprising that Gouger, Rooter, Tusker
- and Snouter did not accelerate away at the sound -
- they were presumably
+ and Snouter did not accelerate away at the sound they were presumably
waiting for Albert to produce the nosebags.
+ [p. 48] "'Look at robins, now. [...] all they got to do is go
"Shlimazel" is a Yiddish word meaning someone who always has bad luck, a
sad sack, a terminally unsuccessful person. (From German "schlimm",
- meaning "bad", and the Hebrew "mazal", meaning "luck" -
+ meaning "bad", and the Hebrew "mazal", meaning "luck" or
"constellation", as in "ill-starred".)
+ [p. 54] "'Did you check the list?' YES, TWICE. ARE YOU SURE THAT'S
+ [p. 73] "In general outline, at least. But with more of a PG rating."
- PG = Parental Guidance suggested -
- a film classification used in the USA
+ PG = Parental Guidance suggested a film classification used in the USA
and the UK, meaning that "some material may not be suitable for
Clearly the Discworld version of "The twelve days of Christmas" is rather
-+ [p. 83] "'*-
- the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer - -*'"
++ [p. 83] "'* the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer *'"
The song is 'The Holly and the Ivy':
exist, so the coincidences are not surprising".
The 'Strong Anthropic Principle' says that "the universe *can* only exist
- at all because it has these properties -
- it would be impossible for it
+ at all because it has these properties it would be impossible for it
to develop any other way."
In some quarters, the idea has re-ignited the old 'argument-from-design'
advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
+ [p. 94] "'Interesting. Saves all that punching holes in bits of card and
- hitting keys you lads are forever doing, then -
+ hitting keys you lads are forever doing, then '"
Holes punched in cards were used to input programs and data to computers
up until roughly the early 1970s, when keyboards became standard.
Intel's problem was that, although it has almost all of the market for
personal computer chips, its lawyers couldn't stop rival manufacturers
- from making chips that were technically identical -
- or, very often,
+ from making chips that were technically identical or, very often,
better and cheaper. Its response was to launch the 'Intel Inside'
sticker, to attach to a computer's case in the hope of persuading end
customers that this made it better.
We'll hunt the cutty wren...
In Ireland until quite recently, the hunting of the wren on St. Stephen's
- day -
- Dec. 26th - - was a very real tradition. People did kill a wren and
+ day Dec. 26th was a very real tradition. People did kill a wren and
hang it on a branch of a holly tree, taking it from house to house rather
like children trick-or-treating on Hallowe'en.
In the early 1970s there appeared a sort of proto-virus called the
- 'Cookie Monster', which cropped up on a number of computers -
+ 'Cookie Monster', which cropped up on a number of computers notably
Multics-based machines. What would happen is that unsuspecting users
would suddenly find messages demanding cookies on their terminals, and
they would not be able to proceed until they typed 'COOKIE' or
- 'HAVECOOKIE', etc. -
- in much the same way as Hex is 'cured' by typing
+ 'HAVECOOKIE', etc. in much the same way as Hex is 'cured' by typing
For more details see: <http://www.multicians.org/cookie.html>
The usual phrase is, of course, "talk the talk and walk the walk",
meaning to both say and do the right thing. If anyone can definitively
- point to the origin of this phrase, I'd be interested to know it -
+ point to the origin of this phrase, I'd be interested to know it
possibly from the US civil rights movement of the 1960s.
It's been mentioned more than once that the Stanley Kubrick movie "`Full
with California, where modern buildings fall over with distressing
- Britain has things called leylines -
- ancient sites so arranged that they
+ Britain has things called leylines ancient sites so arranged that they
draw a perfectly straight line across a map, allegedly impossible to
trace without modern cartographical techniques.
They were Roman household gods.
- There are many beautiful shrines to them -
- there was at least one in
+ There are many beautiful shrines to them there was at least one in
every well-to-do ancient Roman house. The god that saw to it "that the
bread rose" was called Priapus, a god of fertility, who was
conventionally represented by or with a huge phallus.
cannon balls to collapse.
+ [p. 181] "[...] OTHER PEOPLE HAVE NO HOMES. IS THIS FAIR? 'Well, of
- course, that's the big issue -
-' Albert began."
+ course, that's the big issue ' Albert began."
In the UK and Australia, "`The Big Issue`_" is a magazine sold by the
homeless. In many cities all over the world similar projects have been
cladism. This method of classification is called "dichotomous key
classification": unfortunately Ponder has left out the conventional first
step in this kind of identification, which is something along the lines
- of "can it move unassisted?" -
- if so, go to animal, if not, go to
+ of "can it move unassisted?" if so, go to animal, if not, go to
In our world, there is also some classificational confusion concerning
If you haven't got a penny a ha'penny will do
And if you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you.
-+ [p. 195] "'-
- nobody knows how good we can live, on boots three times a
++ [p. 195] "' nobody knows how good we can live, on boots three times a
A standard children's song, once (apparently) popular at Girl Guide
+ [p. 208] "'[...] letting me hire a boat and sail around to the islands of
Darwin gathered much of the data for his version of evolutionary theory
while in the Galapagos Islands, which he visited on HMS "Beagle_".
+ [p. 212] "'You know what happens to kids who suck their thumbs, there's
- this big monster with scissors all -
+ this big monster with scissors all '"
There is a classic set of children's stories called (in English)
"`Slovenly Peter`_", by Heinrich Hoffman, originally written in German circa
"By jingo!" is an archaic, jocular oath, of obscure origin, used in
- Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. The word -- with derived forms
- such as 'jingoism' and 'jingoistic' -- became associated with aggressive,
+ Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. The word – with derived forms
+ such as 'jingoism' and 'jingoistic' – became associated with aggressive,
militaristic nationalism as a result of a popular song dating from the
Turko-Russian war of 1877-78, which began:
In the 1963 comedy "`Mouse on the Moon`_", the Duchy of Grand Fenwick
competes with the USA and USSR to put the first human on the moon. The
Fenwick rocket gets there first, but someone points out that this doesn't
- matter -
- the glory will go to whoever gets *home* first. The Americans
+ matter the glory will go to whoever gets *home* first. The Americans
and Russians quickly make their excuses and leave, pausing only to enter
the wrong capsules before sorting themselves out.
+ [p. 18] "'It's about time Johnny Klatchian was taught a lesson,'"
- "Johnny Foreigner" is a generic, disparaging term used by Britons of -
+ "Johnny Foreigner" is a generic, disparaging term used by Britons of
well, foreigners. During the First World War, the more specific term
structures that were already ancient..."
Leshp bears a resemblance to H. P. Lovecraft's similarly strange-sounding
- creation, R'lyeh -
- an ancient, now submerged island in the Pacific,
+ creation, R'lyeh an ancient, now submerged island in the Pacific,
inhabited by alien Things with strange architecture, which rises at very
long intervals and sends people mad all over the world. For full details,
see Lovecraft's "`The Call of Cthulhu`_".
The original Fanny Adams was an eight-year-old girl in Alton, Hampshire,
whose dismembered body was discovered in 1867. About the same time,
- tinned mutton was first introduced in the Royal Navy, and the sailors --
- not noted for their sensitivity -- took to calling the (rather
+ tinned mutton was first introduced in the Royal Navy, and the sailors –
+ not noted for their sensitivity – took to calling the (rather
disgusting) meat "Sweet Fanny Adams". Hence the term came to mean
something worthless, and finally to mean "nothing at all".
+ [p. 62] "'[...] it is still law that every citizen should do one hour's
archery practice every day. Apparently the law was made in 1356 and it's
- In 1363, in England, Edward III -- then in the early stages of the
- Hundred Years' War with France -- ordered that all men should practise
+ In 1363, in England, Edward III – then in the early stages of the
+ Hundred Years' War with France – ordered that all men should practise
archery on Sundays and holidays; this law remained technically in force
for some time after the longbow was effectively obsolete as a weapon of
the early 19th century. "`Sawney Bean, the Man-Eater of Midlothian`_" was
supposedly based on a real 13th-century Scottish legal case; also
published about this time were two French versions, both set in Paris.
- All of these were claimed to be based on true stories -
- but then, this
+ All of these were claimed to be based on true stories but then, this
pretence was standard practice for novelists at the time. The "original"
version of Sweeney Todd was written by Edward Lloyd under the title of
"`The String of Pearls`_", published around 1840.
+ [p. 85] "'He just kills people for money. Snowy can't read and write.'"
In later editions of the book, this sentence was altered to 'Snowy can
- barely read and write' -
- presumably for consistency with the Clue about
+ barely read and write' presumably for consistency with the Clue about
+ [p. 87] "'Dis is der Riot Act.'"
The Riot Act was an old British law that allowed the authorities to use
deadly force to break up crowds who were gathered for subversive
purposes, such as trade unionists or Chartists. It was an unusual law in
- that it had to be read out to the crowd before it came into force --
- hence the significance of Detritus' attempt to read it -- and the crowd
+ that it had to be read out to the crowd before it came into force –
+ hence the significance of Detritus' attempt to read it – and the crowd
was then supposed to be given a reasonable time to disperse. However, it
was wide open to abuse, and was associated with some very nasty
incidents, such as the Peterloo Massacre in 1818. It was not finally
+ [p. 99] "'That one had plants growing on him!'"
- It has been pointed out -- and I feel bound to inflict the thought on
- others -- that Stoolie is technically a grassy gnoll. (And if *that*
+ It has been pointed out – and I feel bound to inflict the thought on
+ others – that Stoolie is technically a grassy gnoll. (And if *that*
doesn't mean anything to you in the context of political assassinations
+ [p. 100] _'Rinse 'n' Run Scalp Tonic'_[...] "Snowy had cleaned, washed
+ [p. 104] "'Hah,' said the Dis-organizer."
See the annotation for p. 73 of "`Feet of Clay`_". According to legend, Dis
- is also the name of a city in Hell -
- particularly appropriate to a
+ is also the name of a city in Hell particularly appropriate to a
+ [p. 111] "'Apparently it's over a word in their holy book, [...] The
Elharibians say it translates as "God" and the Smalies say it's "Man".'"
One of the most intractable disputes in the early Christian church was
- over the nature of Christ -
- to what extent he was God or man. In 325,
+ over the nature of Christ to what extent he was God or man. In 325,
the Council of Nicea tried to settle the question with the Nicean Creed,
but the dispute immediately re-emerged over a single word of the creed:
one school said that it was "homoousios" (of one substance), the other
that it should be "homoiousios" (of similar substance). The difference in
- the words is a single iota -- the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet
- -- and the schism (between Eastern and Western churches) continues to
+ the words is a single iota – the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet
+ – and the schism (between Eastern and Western churches) continues to
+ [p. 115] "Why play cards with a shaved deck?"
'passed away last month'.
+ [p. 154] "'I thought that was for drillin' into the bottom of enemy ships
The first working submarine was a one-man, hand-propelled vessel called
the Turtle, designed to use an augur to attach explosive charges to the
+ [p. 192] "'"If you would seek peace, prepare for war."'"
From the 4th/5th century Roman writer Vegetius: "Qui desiderat pacem,
- praeparet bellum" -
- "Let him who desires peace, prepare for war."
+ praeparet bellum" "Let him who desires peace, prepare for war."
+ [p. 204] "'"Gulli, Gulli and Beti"'"
and Betty, when you call me, you can call me Al.
+ [p. 210] "'[...] I thought that a flying column of guerrilla soldiers
Since getting into his flowing white robes, Carrot appears to be fast
turning into Lawrence of Arabia. See also the annotations for pp. 259 and
One of the best-known (in the west, at least) works of Arabic literature
is "`The Thousand and One Nights`_". Several classics of children's
- literature -
- including Aladdin and Sinbad the Sailor - - appear in this
+ literature including Aladdin and Sinbad the Sailor appear in this
collection. Nobby's version would appear to be rather more PG-rated.
+ [p. 224] "'Especially the one about the man who went into the tavern with
+ [p. 249] "'That's a Make-Things-Bigger device, isn't it? [...] They were
invented only last year.'"
- Judging from the name, this could be one of Leonard's creations -
+ Judging from the name, this could be one of Leonard's creations but
actually we've learned in "`Soul Music`_" (p. 137) that this particular
invention was the work of Ponder Stibbons at Unseen University.
+ [p. 9] "[...] one particular planet whose inhabitants watched, with mild
interest, huge continent-wrecking slabs of ice slap into another world
- which was, in astronomical terms, right next door -
- *and then did
+ which was, in astronomical terms, right next door *and then did
nothing about it* because that sort of thing only happens in Outer
+ [p. 101] "'Because, in fact, history already *depends* on your treading
on any ants that you happen to step on.'"
- The "closed loop" theory of time travel -- that all the loose ends *will*
- be tied up, even if it's not immediately obvious how -- contrasts with
+ The "closed loop" theory of time travel – that all the loose ends *will*
+ be tied up, even if it's not immediately obvious how – contrasts with
the "trousers of time" model. It was well expressed in the film "`The
Terminator`_", although the sequel promptly abandoned the idea.
Terry was himself a guest on 9 September 1997, and chose the following
- - 'Symphonie Fantastique: Dream of a Witches' Sabbath' -
+ - 'Symphonie Fantastique: Dream of a Witches' Sabbath' Berlioz,
London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Eugene Goossens.
- - 'Thomas the Rhymer' -- Steeleye Span.
- - 'The Race for the Rheingold Stakes' -- Bernard Miles.
- - 'The Marriage of Figaro: Voi che sapete' -- Mozart, Petra Lang, ms;
+ - 'Thomas the Rhymer' – Steeleye Span.
+ - 'The Race for the Rheingold Stakes' – Bernard Miles.
+ - 'The Marriage of Figaro: Voi che sapete' – Mozart, Petra Lang, ms;
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam/Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
- - 'Bat out of Hell' -- Meatloaf.
- - 'Silk Road Theme' -- Kitaro.
- - 'Great Southern Land' -- Icehouse.
- - 'Four Seasons: Summer' -- Vivaldi, Israel Philharmonic
+ - 'Bat out of Hell' – Meatloaf.
+ - 'Silk Road Theme' – Kitaro.
+ - 'Great Southern Land' – Icehouse.
+ - 'Four Seasons: Summer' – Vivaldi, Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra/Itzhak Perlman, v.
+ [p. 109] "'An' I expect you don't even know that we happen to produce
some partic'ly fine wines [...] yew *bastard*?'"
- Expresses a phenomenon known in Australia as 'cultural cringe' -
+ Expresses a phenomenon known in Australia as 'cultural cringe' a