SPOILER for _Dragon_...what's up with Vlad, again?

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Tue Feb 18 14:59:00 PST 2003

On Mon, 17 Feb 2003, Philip Hart wrote:

>I have just poked around on the web and find my interpretation of
>punctuation is idiosyncratic, perhaps unique.  I'm nonetheless going
>to stick with my flash stones.  For those seeking comprehension, the
>problem below might be resolved by writing, "As a certain Issola
>might put it, I am occasionally familiar..." 

But it *wasn't* a certain Issola (although I suppose it might have
been).  It was a certain Polonius.  Although -- was it just me, or was
Khaavren's advice to Piro also a take on that famous blessing? [1]

Note that I had to look that up myself (I knew it was in Hamlet, but I
couldn't remember whether Laertes said it, or someone said it to
Laertes).  Which is a point: sometimes one paraphrases because one
can't remember the exact quote or its source (and indeed, the original
source may not be known [2]), and sometimes because the original is
less appropriate than the paraphrase (in terms of changing second
person to first person, or vice versa), and sometimes it's all of the
above.  I suppose one could tack on "as somebody or other once said,
approximately", but that seems clumsy, especially when one is trying
to be brief and witty. 

Bah.  I will use whichever phrasing seems appropriate for the
occasion.  Those that get it, get it.  Why do published authors
get to have all the fun with unreferenced in-jokes and allusions?

Although in this forum (going back to the previous paraphrase), it
seemed unnecessary to reference the source when the source was SKZB. 

>On Mon, 17 Feb 2003, David Silberstein wrote:
>> I am occasionally familiar; I have no wish to be by any means vulgar.
>> Except when it is appropriate, of course.  ;-)

[1] [Laying his hand on Laertes's head.]
    And these few precepts in thy memory
    Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
    Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
--> Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
    Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
    Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel;
    But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
    Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
    Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,
    Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
    Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
    Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
    But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
    And they in France of the best rank and station
    Are most select and generous chief in that.
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be:
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all,--to thine own self be true;
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

Heh, heh.  He said "dull thy palm with entertainment".

[2] As in this case, it might be that it was not Billy S,
    but rather the Earl of Oxford.  See?