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20th of December, 2004 ANTE·MERIDIEM 01:05

Been reading “The System of the World,” the third volume of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. It’s good—fantasy without the underlying problem that you’re mostly setting a story in the past—not going beyond well-understood social structures, to think up how people might  interact given different historical development—and then copping out of all the work of doing the historical background reading.

So, at intervals he uses the word “bloke.” Now, throughout much of the book he writes anachronistically, switching from his early-twenty-first-century Pacific Northwest American idiom to that of the beginning of the eighteenth. Which is fine, and works well. But “bloke” clashed for me, and I just found out why; its OED citations are, at the earliest, 1851, and British, so the word is appropriate to neither. It doesn’t distract from the book at all, it’s just something that struck me. (Hmm, on further Google Groups searching, it seems to have been Shelta: eh? Anyway, http://​groups.​google.​com.​au/​groups?selm=av324v%248gh%241%40perki.​connect.​com.​au is the article in question.)

What else, what have I been at; spent Saturday with Nathalie, and turned up at Fintan’s CS mulled-wine thingy, managing to miss Jas (bah). Today was not that productive, but that’s hardly much of a sin. Anyway, back to the tail end of it.

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