Ben Oostdam story # 691


The hardest 'thing' about writing is to know what to omit. Beware, though, of cutting too much, as illustrated by Parker's rejection of Hemingway's shortest six word short story - it would be so short no-one would want to read it ....
It is as hard as to focus or crop in a photograph: some people, myself included, would want to include as much or many as possible. "In der Beschraenkung zeigt sich der Meister" - say the Germans even using Umlauts which are hard to find on English and probably also Chinese, Arabic and other more used keyboards.
One should also not fly all over the place, unity of place, action and time is highly recommended and runs counter to my instincts.
Let me demonstrate that by this very story, now that I have caught your attention (?).
Talking about "demonstrations" ....a shibboleth (or is it prerequisite?) for "revolutions" - "riots" - "massacres" - and "genocide"...well, let's compare and contrast recent events all over the so-called "Arab" wordld (extending from true Arabic Yemen to Mediterranean - Muslim - Islamic Tunis, Egypt and Libya) with TianAnMen 1989- which I considered almost "tame" compared to what I had anticipated...

then go look at 'our' Bible's Book of Judges to get the derivation of the word "Shibboleth":
click to enlarge)

now that's what I call proficiency in killing: 42,000 Ephraimites who could not lisp (or whatever) right and paid for that with their lives...remember the number, I am going to use it for another of my sophisticated sophistries herebelow.
Before I forget it, during the WW2 occupation of Holland by the Germans, the shibboleth used was "Scheveningen" with a sharp "g", which the Germans could not do right (nor the Dutch "below the rivers" but that's another story)
While on the topic of killing proficiency, here are some other examples of symbols or ...shibboleths???

Red Bridge, Surabaya, NEI 1945

Murambi, Rwanda, 1994

Enough already of the bloody stuff...
I was in China the year before the Tian An Men "Event" and gave a seminar presentation on ESTUARIES. To tickle the Chinese, who do not have letters but only whole words and ideograms (pl. ideokilogrammes)- I had picked 5 letters "E" to do with Estuaries: Environment, Economy, Energy, Education (find one more yourself, please)
It had been my intent to also do seven letters "S" and ten letters "T", and so on, but I think I stuck with five for the fifth letter of "our" alphabet (they do not even have one but I am sure they are catching on fast now that....)
Anyhow, it must have been the memory of the plan to find seven words starting with an "S" that caused me this morning to ask my fellow swimmer in the Pucillo Pool, Marvin, for the meaning of the word "Shibboleth" .....just after I had taught Ying, the Chinese champignon swimming to say "I could not care less" in Chinese, like "wo bu ma hu" ...which he refused to adopt.

Once home from my 40 laps, I set about looking in the frig and picked up a bowl of left-over rice and another one with cooked pieces of chicken. I then fried some onions in butter and added the chicken in comminuted form, browning the small pieces before adding the rice, an egg, a rasping of seroendeng, some Spanish pepper, black pepper and secret spices and stirring them all with some Bangkok-Padang Peanut Sauce till it fragranced and tasted delicious.
I lovingly distributed the lot in 4 Delft Blue-like bowls, put two Supersize Olives on top and took two of the four bowls to my daughter, too, to share with her Mark, a very learned gentleman. Later, I called daughter and asked her if she knew the meaning of "Shibboleth" and read to her on the phone about the killings around 1,200 BC - which I copied for you above - ...but told her that 142,000 Ephraimites had been killed by Genocides Gileadites and that she should go forth and tell that to Mark.
I subsequentilly called her back again - nuisance as I am - to ask for Mark's comments and to explain that this had been a test of the principles of semiotics, really semeotics, as applied by myself semi-subconsciously because I had just googled same words for my "S" lecture ..... well, she said all he said was "whatever" - soooo I told her to tell him that he was deviating from his own and switching over to her "shibbolethism", wow!! talking about contamiNATIONalism

Well, now that I am this far into the story and close to the 25th hour, I suddenly do not feel like bothering you with all these "S" words (ask me about the tale of Parker and Lexa not using the "F" word and Lexa elucidating to me that there were actually two "A" words they were not allowed to use in school, rather contrary to their Constitutional Rights if you ask me... )
so excuse me if I just reproduce the selected seven
(? like, why the heck not six, also starts with an "s: and is easier to put into a TABLE)
"S" words of this day (or was it yesterday??):
(while recommending 2U2 not only click to enlarge but also to
assiduously google to enlarge your own vocabulary rather than just rely on Fox's Father O'Reilly to do so one word at a time...
So while I am trying to align these thumbnails below, I am signing off already like

here in Conestoga, I am Ben Oostdam

(figure out yourself who I would be in Washington, Chicago, Tripolis or Beijing)


seminar (something to do with semen or seamen?)



sophism (old time)

sophism (modern sense)
BLO fecit 20110228_0301