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Schott's Original Miscellany

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Schott's Original Miscellany Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Polo Chukkas

The game of polo is divided into chukkas of seven and a half minutes. At the end of each chukka a bell is rung, and the play is extended for thirty seconds unless the ball goes out of play, or the umpire calls a foul. [The last chukka of a match stops after seven minutes with no additional time added.] Between each chukka there is a three-minute interval — extended to five minutes at half-time. A full match lasts for six chukkas, but sometimes four or eight are played by mutual agreement. If, at the end of the final chukka, the scores are tied, then an interval of five minutes is called, the distance between the goals is widened from eight to sixteen yards, and additional chukkas are played until the deciding goal is scored.

[The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of chukka as derived from the Hindustani chakar and the Sanskrit cakra meaning circle or wheel.]

***

A Certain Chinese Encyclopaedia

Although possibly an elaborate literary joke, one of the most curious lists is that quoted (and perhaps invented) by J.L. Borges. In one of his essays (made famous by Michel Foucault), Borges claims that Dr Franz Kuhn discovered 'a certain Chinese encyclopaedia' entitled Celestial Empire of Benevolent Knowledge, which stated that all animals can be classified thus:

[a] belonging to the Emperor
[b] embalmed
[c] tame
[d] sucking pigs
[e] sirens
[f] fabulous
[g] dogs
[h] included in the present classification
[i] that shake like a fool
[j] innumerable
[k] drawn with a very fine camel-hair brush
[l] etcetera
[m] having just broken the water pitcher
[n] that, if seen from a distance, look like flies.

***

Famous Last Words

JAMES JOYCE

"Does nobody understand?"

***

Some Shakespearean Insults

You are not worth another word, else I'd call you Knave.

Why are thou then exasperate, thou idle immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou green sarsenet flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou? Ah, how the world is pestered with such waterflies, diminutives of nature.

Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter.

This woman's an easy glove, my Lord, she goes off and on at pleasure. You shew'd your teethes like Apes, and fawn'd like hounds and bow'd like Bondmen.

Like the toad, ugly and venemous.

You fat and greasy citizens.

Like a villaine with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart.

You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate as reek o' th' rotten fens, whose loves I prize as the dead carcasses of unburied men that do corrupt my air.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582343495
Editor:
Collin Deckerman
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Schott, Ben
Author:
Ben T.
Author:
Schot
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Trivia
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Subject:
Handbooks, vade-mecums, etc.
Subject:
REFERENCE / Trivia
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st US ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
568
Publication Date:
20030831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w diagrams
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
7.94 x 4.28 x 0.72 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Trivia
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Mental Puzzles
Reference » General
Reference » Trivia

Schott's Original Miscellany Used Hardcover
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Product details 144 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582343495 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] delightfully eclectic collection of facts, diagrams, quotations and symbols. Charmingly designed....Readers may find its smile-provoking pages absolutely addictive."
"Review" by , "It is so pleasant just to have this book near, as though at any moment one could pretend to be deeply involved in some scholarly pursuit of meaning."
"Review" by , "A slender, unassuming volume [that] houses ephemera and exotica...a 159-page nest of novel nuggets....[T]akes abundant joy in the secret histories, untapped talents, and shape-shifting prowess of language itself..."
"Review" by , "Part encyclopedia, part anthology, part lexicon, the book is a collection of inconsequential tidbits that you never knew, never thought to ask, but will love knowing. As hilarious as it is addictive."
"Review" by , "The best ever collection of essential trivia. Everybody should get one for Christmas. Bless you for Schott's Original Miscellany!"
"Review" by , "It has its useful aspects, but its chief pleasure is for browsing....Nobody needs to know...that the quantity of beauty required to launch a single ship is one Milli-Helen — but it is, none the less, a nice thing to learn."
"Review" by , "The most idiosyncratic volume I have come across in years and the perfect book for anyone who sucks up facts like Thanksgiving gravy....I can't get enough of it."
"Synopsis" by , An indispensable and unputdownable collection of essential trivia, uncommon knowledge, and vital irrelevance for the modern age — such as firework categories, airport marshalling signals, Bond girls listed by film, chat room acronyms, the color codes of the lights on the Empire State Building, and thirteen principles for witches.
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