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#179297 - 09/26/08 10:24 PM Boojum
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2888
I need help with this word from somebody who has a dictionary older than 1940.

In an old book I am reading, the writer bemoans the fact that critics hinder the enjoyment and appreciation of art.

The writer uses this sentence:

...I say, the critic, if he were or could be, as critic, to any degree a considerate human being, or graced by even the amenity of a Boojum, would "softly and silently vanish away." But critics, sadly, arent't like that. (emphasis mine)

I can't find a definition of Boojum that fits this sentence or what this man is trying to say.

I've found references to boojum trees and, as boojum being a particularly nasty snark, which is a creature invented by Lewis Carrol in 1951.

The book I am reading dates from 1939, so it definitely isn't the snark, and a boojum tree is rather rough and ragged and not anthing in which there would be amenities, so neither definitions fit.

I'm thinking it is a word that has fallen out of use or disappeared. It also seems a proper noun since it is capitalized.

Can anybody help?

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#179298 - 09/26/08 10:48 PM Re: Boojum [Re: belMarduk]
latishya Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/24/07
Posts: 390
Loc: कहीं &...
 Originally Posted By: belMarduk


I've found references to boojum trees and, as boojum being a particularly nasty snark, which is a creature invented by Lewis Carrol in 1951.

The book I am reading dates from 1939, so it definitely isn't the snark,
Can anybody help?


Carroll Wrote The Hunting of the Snark in 1876 - he was LONG dead by 1951. The boojum you read about was almost certainly a reference to Carroll's creation.

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#179299 - 09/26/08 11:13 PM Re: Boojum [Re: latishya]
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2888
Did he? Sheesh, the info you get on the net can certainly be off, eh.

I don't know how the snark definition works though. If a Boojum is a particularly nasty snark, then it wouldn't be "graced by amenity", na?

Mind you, if the date was wrong, then the definition of the snark could also be wrong. I'll have to look around some more.

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#179300 - 09/26/08 11:16 PM Re: Boojum [Re: latishya]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
a Boojum was, ostensibly, a particularly dangerous kind of snark. Lewis Carroll invariably described the snark as "unimaginable".

 Originally Posted By: Lewis Carroll
But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day, If your Snark be a Boojum! For then You will softly and suddenly vanish away..
[EA]

The dreadful Boojum of Nothingness. - W. H. Auden

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#179301 - 09/27/08 01:04 AM Re: Boojum [Re: tsuwm]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3286
Loc: R'lyeh
boojum

The boojum (aka Fouquieria columnaris) is also a rather strange tree in Baja California (link). Godfrey Sykes named it.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#179302 - 09/27/08 10:49 AM Re: Boojum [Re: zmjezhd]
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
It sounds to me like the speaker is hoping the critic(s) will magically go away for good.

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#179313 - 09/27/08 08:13 PM Re: Boojum [Re: latishya]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
 Originally Posted By: latishya
 Originally Posted By: belMarduk


I've found references to boojum trees and, as boojum being a particularly nasty snark, which is a creature invented by Lewis Carrol in 1951.

The book I am reading dates from 1939, so it definitely isn't the snark,
Can anybody help?

Carroll Wrote The Hunting of the Snark in 1876 - he was LONG dead by 1951. The boojum you read about was almost certainly a reference to Carroll's creation.


I would say almost certainly the 1951 reference belMarduk came across was simply the publication date of a Carroll anthology or perhaps dictionary of quotations, or whatever the book was that the word appeared in.

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#179319 - 09/28/08 03:42 PM Re: Boojum [Re: zmjezhd]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
boojum

The boojum (aka Fouquieria columnaris) is also a rather strange tree in Baja California (link). Godfrey Sykes named it.


That's a real beauty of the freakish order! For those who overlooked the link in the link:

Boojumbo

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#179320 - 09/28/08 08:44 PM Re: Boojum [Re: BranShea]
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Good grief--it looks like it's dying, having had something catastrophic happen to it.

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#179334 - 09/29/08 10:01 AM Re: Boojum [Re: Jackie]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
 Originally Posted By: Jackie
Good grief--it looks like it's dying, having had something catastrophic happen to it.

...you mean, like Wall St?

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