Pages 87-127

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☽ April 30th, YDAU - Marathe & Steeply

Page 87

a type of construction equipment

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Page 89

c'etait la guerre

It was war.

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Paternal, related on the father's side. In this case agnate seems to mean that the shadows come from the same source, the setting sun.

From the Russian verb "to publish on one's own" or "to self-publish." Originally used to denote underground publications in the Soviet Union, now used more generally for dissident activity[1]

Page 92

secretary who takes diction AND devoted assistant. Jeune-fille-de-Vendredi is French for "young girl Friday." "Man Friday" (or "girl Friday") is a term that means a very competent and loyal servant or assistant, and originates from the Friday of Robinson Crusoe.

Page 93

Feral Hamsters

Page 93


of or involving excess nitrogenous waste products in the urine


of or relating to the body, esp. as distinct from the mind.

Champaign IL
He probably attends the University of Illinois main campus.

Ward and June
The mother's and father's names on Leave It to Beaver

pedalfer is a soil type composed of aluminum and iron oxides. apparently a neologism, the word would mean "of or pertaining to foot metal," i.e., fast driving


plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation or to avoid surplus production

in color, yellow-gray to yellowish-brown

having an ill effect on the development of a fetus

Marathe & Steeply, cont.

Page 93

'n sûr
An elision of bien sûr, French for "of course"


the removal of hair roots or small blemishes on the skin by the application of heat using an electric current.

Page 94

Sterling UL35 9 mm machine pistol with Mag Na Port silencer
Sterling is a real British gun manufacturer and Mag-Na-Port is real also, but this particular gun model is apparently made-up.

a dance popular in the 1920s

the mesquite plant

Page 95

YDAU - ETA Locker Room

Page 95

a brand name of disinfectant used for combs and hairbrushes

Tolstoy's sentence
The question probably referred to the opening lines of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina: "HAPPY families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

No cathode gun. No phosphenic screen.
A cathode gun is an electron gun used in a cathode ray tube. "Phosphenic" refers to phosphenes.

Ultra High Frequency

the edge contrast of an image. Hal appears to be correct insofar as contrast is more or less the same as resolution. Acutance is related to a pulse's slope and height.

Michael Pemulis, ..., clear his throat deeply
this grammatical error appears shortly after a discussion of a class on grammar

Page 97

blurring of a visual image by glare

still or at rest

Marathe & Steeply, cont.

Page 97

“having deep radiating divisions” (OED)

ETA Locker Room, cont.

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Zoltán was a 10th century ruler of Hungary.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (sic) is a psychologist best known for his concept of "flow", a psychological state where one "is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity", e.g. "being in the zone" while playing sports.

Idris Arslanian, new this year, ethnically vague
Idris is an Arabic name, corresponding in the Qur'an to Enoch in the Bible. The last name Arslanian sounds Armenian, though Arslan is a Turkish word for "lion."

Resident Assistant

Tex Watson
Besides a character in Infinite Jest, Tex Watson was the nickname of Charles Watson, one of the chief murderers in the Charles Manson Family.

An ephebe is an adolescent male.

A suppliant is a petitioner.

Page 99

yellowish- to reddish-brown

with angled slats

having to do with the chest

Atavism means reversion to an earlier evolutionary type; i.e., Hal's complexion resembles his grandparents or earlier ancestors more than his parents

having patches of different colors

Page 100

a nickname

inflation-generative grammar
i.e. a set of rules to generate phrases of increasing emphasis

Page 101

A semion is technically part of an anyon, the latter of which is defined in the OED as "a particle having characteristics intermediate between those of fermions and bosons in two-dimensional space." However, it seems Wallace uses the word as a form closer to "semiotics." A later search reveals that semion is Greek for "sign."

From the Italian reggione of Umbria, in central Italy. Hal is Italian on his father's side, as well as Pima Native American. His mother, of course, is French-Canadian.

Used as a verb here, Brylcreem is a brand name of men's hair grooming product.

the zygomatic bones of the face

Page 102

haul ashes
For a history of this term, click here.

Johnny Mathis's "Chances Are"
listen here

Page 103

Luther's 16th-century shoes, awaiting epiphany
Martin Luther (1483-1546), German father of the Reformation, was a notorious sufferer of constipation.

hobnailed boots
boots assembled with hobnails

Endnote 43

The disease is named for Burrill Bernard Crohn (1884-1983), American gastroenterologist.

Page 103, cont.

combatting or expelling flatulence

a disease characterized by the collection of uric acid in the joints

Port Washington
There are three cities by this name in the U.S.: In New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

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woppsed up
a created word, apparently something like "wadded up"

Marathe & Steeply, cont.

Page 105

Tristan and Isolde
star-crossed lovers from Arthurian myth

Lancelot and what's-her-name

Agamemnon and Helen
Steeply has this one wrong.

Dante and Beatrice
Beatrice is Dante's guide through heaven in the third part of the Divine Comedy, Paradiso

Narcissus and Echo
The story of these doomed lovers from Greek mythology is here.

Kierkegaard and Regina
Regina Olsen was the short-term fiancée of Kierkegaard.

Kafka and that poor girl afraid to go the postbox for the mail
The story being referred to can be read here.

Menelaus was husband, him of Sparta
Menelaus, King of Sparta, was the husband of Helen. Agamemnon was the King of Argos and Menelaus's brother.

Helen and Paris. He of Troy.
Paris, a Trojan prince, kidnapped Helen from Menelaus, precipitating the Trojan War.

The horse: the gift which was not a gift
a reference to the Trojan horse

Page 106

resulting from electrolysis, the removal of hair using electric shocks

From French for "cold blood," this word means "coolness," as in composure under pressure

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Page 108

There are several types of creosote, described here.

active in the twilight, as bats

Endnote 45

Endnote 304

Notes and Errata - Endnote 304

Page 109

bulging outwards: the shape of the moon when it is neither full, nor crescent, nor half, i.e., when it is more than half full

short form for Quonset huts

November 3rd, YDAU - Advice to Little Brothers

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Stan Smith
Born in 1946, Smith is a retired professional tennis player, having won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open once each.

dried out

Endnote 46

probably a misspelling of corticalization

Page 111

1980's plastic clips that help keep shoe laces tied

E.N.T. oncologist
ear, nose, and throat; an oncologist is a cancer physician

A viola is a like a violin, only slightly larger and deeper in tone.

Page 112

E Unibus Pluram
A Latin pun on E pluribus unum ("From many, one"), the U.S. motto. This would mean "From one, many." Note that the correct Latin would be something like Ex uno plures or Ex uno plura (depending on what "many" is meant to refer to).

Page 113

a kind of narcissism based on the idea that one's own mind is all one can ever truly know to exist

ballet de se

French: Ballet of (itself)

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the proper French plural of "plateau," rather than "plateaus"

to work with sustained effort against a natural resistance over a period of time

Page 116

a Japanese battle cry

browbeaten or intimidated

Page 117

attendants at gambling casinos

misspelling of Plasticine, a brand name of plastic used for making molds


of or pertaining to the process of natural growth

of or pertaining to the reflexive nervous system

Page 118

a coding system for computers that requires no compiling before running

Orinda CA
A small, wealthy city in Conta Costa County, immediately east of the Oakland-Berkeley metro area and about 18 miles northeast of San Francisco

me droogies
Struck is speaking in Nadsat, the language of Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange, which is based on Russian. Droogies is Nadsat for "friends."

from context, this would seem to be when an opponent is intentionally making bad calls to win points.

Page 119

Mein kinder
German: "My children". But wrong grammar! "Mein" is singular, "kinder" is plural. "My children" would be "Meine Kinder"

Page 120

sort of a formal German word for "chauffeur." [No, as native speaker, I do not agree. It is a quiet family name, meaning something like "cart-worker", but nobody would call a chauffeur that way!]

"an ornamental pattern or border, as in architecture, consisting of paired ribbons or lines flowing in interlaced curves around a series of circular voids" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary); see below

Guilloche molding.jpg

A la contraire
A French mistake: Should be au contraire (masculine)

gingival mound
mound of gum tissue

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an insight

Mario Incandenza's romantic experience

Page 121

after a meal

two hundred kilos
over 440 pounds


Page 122

doff is to take off or tip in salutation (don off)


Osseous means "bone-like."


chill dusk
George Eliot (born Mary Anne Evans; 1819-1880), the British novelist, uses the expression in her novel Adam Bede.

Literally meaning the use of something legally not one's own, here it's used to mean a new path beaten through a thicket.

short form for a Klieg light

Page 123

Betty Stove
Betty Stöve (born 1945) is a Dutch former professional tennis player and winner of ten Grand Slam titles

Montclair NJ
a suburb about twenty miles west-northwest of New York City

Consolidated Edison, the utilities company serving New York

three meters tall
about nine feet, ten inches tall

Page 124

Weber Grill
a real brand, you can see examples here

Passaic NJ
near Montclair, Passaic is another western suburb of New York

To caper is to skip about in a playful manner.

To rondel (more properly, roundel) is to dance in a circle

To simper is to smile coyly.


masses of trees or shrubs

To jeté is to jump ballet-style.

Page 125

an ornamental fabric incorporating threads of gold or silver

Tiziano Vecellio (1485-1576) was a Venetian painter.

poison sumac
a tall shrub containing urushiol, which causes a rash similar to poison ivy

of or pertaining to the surrounding environment

Page 126

April 30th, YDAU - Marathe & Steeply, cont.

Page 126

les salles de danser
French: dancing rooms

Val d'Or, Québec
city of northern Québec, 325 miles northwest of Montreal

Page 127

referring to photographic memory

April 30th, YDAU - Still More Marathe & Steeply

Page 127

a rarely used English word (found in OED) meaning "surrounded by walls", from French: 'mur' = wall

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