Bug off, Manicheans

from the Byzantine Madrid codex

The phrase “bug off,” to my ears, is a dated colloquialism, a mild expletive, synonymous with “leave me alone” or “go away” in the sense of a pesky kid underfoot keeping me from reading the newspaper. I would probably use “buzz off” before “bug off,” but I hear “buzz” as a variant of “bug” in that context.

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The saltner of Merano

In the clothing exhibit at the German National Museum in Nuremburg, there’s a mannequin entitled ‘Weinberg Hats (“Meraner Saltner”)’, dressed in an outrageous costume including an enormous fur and feather hat with foxtails, and a necklace of boar tusks.  He’s holding a spear and wearing a big walrus mustache.

It turns out that the ‘saltner‘ is a traditional Tyrolean vineyard-keeper. His fearsome appearance is supposed to scare away thieves.

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Aarsha: Do as I say, not as I say

Classical Sanskrit was defined by the grammarian Pāṇini and exemplified by the language of the epic literature especially including the Mahabharata and the Rāmāyaṇa.  But the theory was always tighter than the practice, and the language of the epics includes non-Paninian forms, usually influences from spoken language(s), which eventually became Hindi/Urdu and other north Indian languages.

But it’s a little bit of a problem: how do you handle these exceptions?  Traditional scholarship calls these forms “ārṣa”, “of the ṛṣi”. As I understand it, it’s a case of “do as I say, not as I say.”