Egregious didactic

So I have finally more or less completed moving the blog around and set it up with the new design on the latest Chyrp release.  Hence the gratuitous audio posting (hey, I had to test it!).  Commenting should work far better if anyone chooses to make a comment, I have even allowed anonymous commenting - it is optional to supply your name and email.  Whather there will be any more comments remains to be seen, I have noticed that traffic to the site seems to have dropped off from a peak last September.

With the new design I have added categories, and these are connected to an intended new theme.  The categories are Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, Poetry, and Spiritual.  Posts will either fall into one of these categories or else they will be like "padding" to the blog.  So the intention is that the main theme here is to be literary appreaciation, observation, and criticism or interpretation (reading), poetry (mine and others), the techniques, issues, pitfalls, and joys of creating literary works (writing), and for a little light relief the occasional word play or vocabulary expansion.  Spritual posts may pop up from time to time if something especially inspires me in that direction.  There will still be the occasional diversion into postings that do not fit into these categories, but it is my intention to try to focus the blog in these areas.  Hopefully by this means it will live up to it's name a little.

Which brings me to the word of this post.  Whilst I was in Somerset visiting the family between Christmas and New Year my father came up with the word "egregious" and wanted me to define it for him.  I didn;t do a very good job of it at the time, but the landlord fished out a dictionary and when reading the definition from Websters he decided he'd like the word applied to himself.  The etymology is from the Greek gregis meaning flock, so literally this means standing out from the crowd.  However it usually carries negative connotations.  Wiktionary seems to have it about right:-

"The negative meaning arose in the late 16th century, probably originating in sarcasm. Before that, it meant outstanding in a good way. Webster also gives “distinguished” as an archaic form, and notes that its present form often has an unpleasant connotation (e.g., "an egregious error"). It generally precedes such epithets as “rogue,” “rascal,” "ass," “blunderer”– but may also be used for a compliment, or even on its own: “Sir, you are egregious.” The latter sense is only recommended when one is quite certain its object is unaware of its meaning."

I think my father believes it means notorious in a good way.  Whatever the exact meaning I have to admit it probably is quite fitting.

The next post will be a poem my father wrote as a parody of Coleridge, entitled "The Rhyme of the Ancient Smoker" which he entrusted to me along with a few other works that may appear from time to time.

PS - I was reading the Independent letters page online today (7th January) and came across this word in correct and amusing usage;

"Egged into Easter

My Waitrose store had chocolate eggs on sale on 1 January. I may be old-fashioned in thinking eggs are associated with Easter. So how come Cadbury thinks they belong before the end of the Christmas season? Even the Waitrose people seem to have no sense of liturgical sequence. If we allow the egregious anticipation of Easter, we surely should have had pancakes (Shrove Tuesday) and hot-cross buns (Good Friday) before we got to the chocolate eggs? Has the great God of consumerism eclipsed Christianity as the faith of the global market?

Frank Campbell



  1. Made sense - should be fixed now (I hope - stoopid Blogger denseness) - I thank you kindly (and everyone should go to your blog and read the poem "Sleep Positions"!).

    Mainframeguy on
  2. Love the new look; my you have been busy! Great post, too.

    Here's the thing. When I click on the link saying Didactic, Moi?! on your profile page I get a shot of a green machine and nothing else. The way I got here was to go to your other blog and click on the link in the post about your improvements over here at this blog. That brought me to this post. Does this explanation make sense to you?

    Lydia on