Mea culpae

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 11 20:27:24 UTC 2004

Yes, I'm guessing at the subject line.

To Mark Mandel:  no , I wasn't asleep, I was just in too much of a hurry to
send a bunch of posts to the list to bother reading what I was commenting on.

To Bill Mullins, re
<begin quote>
K-Y canyon" 6/76
" In fact, he almost lost his hilt in a K-Y canyon last week, but that's
another story
<end quote>

Undoubtedly a reference to K-Y Jelly, comonly used as a lubricant during
sexual activity.  It is not possible to tell from the above quote whether vaginal
or anal intercourse is being described.  "Hilt" is mostly likely an extension
of the metaphor "sword" for the male organ.

To Wilson Gray:
MWCD11 page 647 says the word is "insignia also insigne n, pl -nia or nias"
so I wasn't totally wrong.  I have never studied Latin..

>For "shell and flame," read "bomb with burning fuse" or "grenade with
>burning fuse"

"shell and flame" was a direct quote from my source, Foster-Harris (author,
and [sic] on the baffling hyphen) and Evelyn Curro (illustrator) _The Look of
the Old West_ New York: Viking, 1955, no ISBN, pages 9 (text) and 10
(illustration).  A very useful reference book for an ADS-L member, I might add.  The
illustration on page 10 shows something so stylized as to be ambiguous.  However,
in the 19th century "shell" and "bomb" were synonyms, both meaning an
explosive or incendiary projectile fired from a cannon.  The "bombs bursting in air"
of the Star Spangled Banner were fired from mortars on vessels known as "bomb
ketches", as Francis Scott Key observed from his position on the British

Grenades were rarely if ever used in the 19th century.  They were fashionable
in the 18th century---note the prevalence of units called "Grenadier"---but
did not reappear until the trench warfare of World War I demanded an indirect
infantry weapon.

>And yet, there those who claim that a classical education has no value
>in this modern world!;-)

Both my children chose to take Latin in high school, so there's hope for the

>Git along, little dogie!

Which is why cowboys owned daschunds, undoubtedly leading to New Haven
cowboys coining the term "hot dog".

          - Jim Landau

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