« Olympus PEN-F Reality Check | Main | berkameras! (PhaseOne IQ3 100MP and Canon EOS 1D X Mark II) »

Tuesday, 02 February 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Not sure the 'Intrinseca' bit is Spanish - sounds more like medieval church Latin to me. And indeed there used to be a Ryme Extrinsica, according to Wikipedia.

But there's always ...
Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch the longest Welsh name extant.

Mi dos pesos

By the way, I hope you bought Harold's book when I recommended it.
I did buy one, but only one :-(
I also met Harold briefly at the gallery that published his book. I told him I was there thanks to TOP highlighting the book.

I have a signed copy of the book from the kickstarter campaign. Interesting that a signed copy is offered for a fraction of price of a new copy, which in turn is half the price of a used copy ;) I've often wondered if these ridiculous prices on amazon for out of print books are ever realized or if they amount to "trolling for fools" (to quote Brooks Jensen in an article on outrageous gallery pricing of photographs).

I somehow ended up with an extra copy of Pentti Sammallahti's "Here Ever After" and have thought about selling the spare, but with my luck, I'd end up getting less than I paid after all the fees.

Apropos of nothing but your amusement in Notyetminster, Henry VIII was responsible for Nonsuch Palace (in Surrey), which I quite like!

You're usually on safe ground ridiculing Sarah Palin's grammar, however. I sent a transcript of her Trump endorsement to my girlfriend, who thought it was slam poetry.

But Mike, the OP is not correct at all - Bouquet is not at all pronounced like Bokeh. The former sounds more like a "BOO-keh", rather than a pure "O" that is of course the Japanese way of pronouncing the vowel.

US speakers have a tendency to use "OH" in French "OU", when it sounds more like "OO", as well as pronouncing "OO" when the French word uses "EU" - Sacre Blue!! Mais there are beaucoup other lil distorshnz.

Henry VIII owned a house named Nonsuch Palace, which today gives us the wonderfully named road, Nonsuch Place. Someone in the local authority must have had his fingers crossed behind his back when he approved that. Douglas Adams wrote a whole book, The Meaning of Liff, dedicated to the strange words found on British signposts.

Bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke (ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze", or boke-aji, the "blur quality." The word "boke" in Japanese also has a number of different meanings. It can mean stupid, unaware, or clueless.

Wow is right! Should have bought 20 of the wonderful Harold Feinstein books and skipped the IRA contribution! I do really like the one signed copy I did get.:)

Mike said: Where words are concerned, homonymity doth not equivalency imply!

Proving your rule: Bokeh and bouquet are neither homonyms (each of two or more words having the same spelling but different meanings and origins) nor homophones (each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling, e.g., new and knew.)

Those definitions from the Oxford online dictionary via Bing


Just saw this on facebook attributed to Ramblin' Mama.

"My life is a constant battle between wanting to correct grammar and wanting to have friends"

"Intrínseca" is in Spanish the feminine form of "intrínseco", which means "intrinsic" in English, which is no more related to philosophy than the Spanish word.

The inevitability of making a mistake when correcting grammar or spelling is of course called "Muphhy's Law"


One thing to bear in mind is that most photography books are likely to be most valuable just after they go out of print, for all the reasons you mention above. But I suspect that a couple of years after THAT, the price will drop like a stone. Very few photography books -- even those that are highly lauded when they come out -- remain "top of mind" for buyers for very long. A year later most people have moved on and forgotten about the books they couldn't buy, so demand drops as people pursue the latest highly regarded photobook. I suspect that anyone who wants a copy of Harold Feinstein's book will be able to buy a copy for a third of the current price in a year or two. Still much more expensive than buying when it first came out (and I know it is nerve-wracking to wait), but it is much cheaper that buying in the middle of a frenzy when there is no supply.


I'm just happy to learn that someone else besides me goes Wikipedia hopping for gratification of the gotta-know-right-now urge. What did we ever do without it?

Nonsuch Palace? That's my patch your talking about. It was pulled down by a later owner who sold the building materials to pay gambling debts. It was surrounded by Nonsuch Park, which is now a public park, half a mile or so from my house. My son went to Nonsuch Primary School. And so on...

Alas, when it comes to photobooks, what goes up very often comes down, too. I recall being giddy when I saw that used copies of Howard Schatz's book, Seeing Red, had asking prices of nearly $300 at Amazon, but a look today shows that a new copy can be had for a fraction of that. Fortunately, I still enjoy it and have no plans to sell my copy, but it is clear from my experience with this one book alone that Amazon sellers' prices are either highly volatile or highly optimistic. Perhaps both?

"The Maltster of Yetminster... Sounds like undiscovered Hardy."

Hardy har har! I can't tell if you mean Thomas Hardy or Oliver Hardy. Homonymity, and all that...

Well, my parents live not far from Ryme Intrinsica, in a village called Glanvilles Wootton!

A coincidence of typos: The Guardian ran an article yesterday about an Australian company that sells globes of the Earth, with country names, etc. This company made an error, naming Palestine but leaving out Israel.

But the Guardian’s caption under the photo was: “sold by Australian stationary chain Typo”

How’s that for a tautology? A typo in a sentence about a typo by a company named Typo. Must be a record.

Also, the pair ou in words of French origin should be pronounced oo, not oh, IMHO. Bouquet should be pronounced as boo-keh, just like tour and toujour. So bouquet and bokeh don't rhyme.

The island called Bougainville north of Australia is often in the news, and is invariably pronounced Bogan-ville here. Bogan is a derogatory term in this neck o'the bush.

" Correcting other people's grammar is the best form of birth control"

Demitri Martin

Once you start sniggering at English village names you're never done. Middle Wallop, Lower Upham, Piddletrenthide – the list is extensive. In the old days, when memes were words instead of cat pictures, they were a staple of every newspaper editor's space-filler file.

More subtly, they are a symptom of the deep history of the European countryside. Minsters were the large churches of the Anglo Saxon period, like cathedrals but without a bishop. A 'yat' or 'yet' is a pass or gateway (or, in Yetminster's case, possibly the name of a saint of benefactor).

All foreign languages can be comical at times, including those of the past, but if you *only* giggle, you miss the real possibility of resonance.

Ryme Intrinseca is one of those funnily-named little villages in the Dorset/Somerset area, from where my wife hails. I'm always telling her it's like Middle Earth: see also Huish Episcopi, Gussage St. Michael, Haselbury Plucknett and the evergreen River Piddle, meandering through Piddletrenthide (home of the Piddle Inn) and Piddlehinton (where the Piddle Brewery is located). Don't worry, piddle just means marsh or fen. But Shitterton (or, as the locals euphemistically pretend, 'Sitterton')? Yes, that literally means 'the farm at the stream used as a sewer'.

'Man', singular. 'Men', plural. 'Tradesman', singular. 'Tradesmen', plural.
Geddit? Youl wanna remembur dis in futur.

@Hugh Smith: It's "mis dos pesos" Again, 'mi' - singular, 'mis' - plural.

Regarding the name Maltster, you've found another example of vestigial masculine/feminine casing. It's well known that the English language shed most of its case endings in order to cram all those French words into the language. But a few remnants of masculine/feminine casing live on in surnames such as Hollier/Hollister and Brewer/Brewster. You've found another. The names with "ster" endings were feminine so a Hollister was a female inn keeper or publican. The existence of Maltster implies the existence of Malter as a masculine counterpart.

I find it interesting that all three given here are related to the production and serving of beer or ale.

- The future isn’t what it used to be.

There is a place near Durham in northeastern England called No Place, which is not too far from Stony Heap. And my wife used to live in Lincolnshire in Poke's Hole. And years ago she saw this: at the bottom of a road sign that read

Mavis Enderby
Old Bolingbroke

a wag had written 'a boy'.

There are soooooo many more...

Inthe interesting names department:
In graduate school I had an colleague from England make the following claim. He wrote the name FEATHERSTONE-HOUGH on a blackboard and then wrote the pronunciation FANSHAW below it.

"'Bokeh' is pronounced 'bouquet,' just like a bunch of flowers. Why not just use the French word?"

Er, _some_ people pronounce it like 'bouquet' (which _itself_ gets warped badly from the French).
But the Japanese word (meaning 'blur') is apparently pronounced something like 'bah-keh' – with the second vowel as in 'get' or 'vet'.
English speakers will probably never pronounce it quite like that. But I stubbornly refuse to say 'Bow-kay'!

- Peter W (from the only continent in the world where Nikon is pronounced 'Nai-kon' instead 'Nih-kon).

" Criticizing someone's spelling or grammar on the internet is the last refuge of someone who doesn't have an argument."

Read that once years ago and have found it to be mostly true. In any case, pointing out grammar or misspellings seems more of a diversionary tactic than anything else.

I was pleased to drive through New Invention the other day.


I’ll go you one better: you don’t hoist a petard. A petard hoists you.

A petard is a small bomb, and it was Hamlet who came up with the memorable hoisting phrase to describe what he was going to do to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: “…blow them at the moon.”

The word petard evolved from the French verb péter, to fart.


Don Norris

"Our former summer home was nearest a town in Michigan called Alanson, so my cousin Ham had a T-shirt made up. The front said 'Where the hell is Alanson, Michigan?' and the back said, 'Right between Brutus and Ponshewaing." It is, too."

One great thing is that there is also a Hell, Michigan. I quite remember how relieved I felt when I left Accident, Maryland, without incident.

Not quite related, but one of my favorite place t-shirts reads: "Worcester: Paris of the 80s"


We have our own long named place here in MA, too:
We can't quite compete with the Welsh, but it's not too bad.

The mentions of the Bible in the piece on Muphry's law reminded me of Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman. Fascinating study of how the Bible got to be what it is today, through mis-copying, mis-editing, spurious additions and other human-induced modifications. A must read for anybody interested in the subject.

At this late moment it may be impolite to point out the the idiom is "Hoist with (ones) own petard."

If I remember this right, you had recommended Steve McCurry's, "The Iconic Photographs" as well. It was affordable back then.


As recently as 10 years ago, Lee Friedlander's "American Monument" was still in print, available new from the publisher and through Barnes & Noble. At $495, it seemed spendy to me at the time, so I dithered, with the predictable result.

If anyone must have the Feinstein book for less than 4 figures, I see a copy on abebooks for only $200:

I always assumed it was common courtesy to include a typo in any reply pointing some elses'.

As someone who retired 20 months ago and decided to reduce my large collection of photobooks by selling them on eBay (JWNova1) I still haven't developed a good feel for what buyers value. I have had famous photographers' books sit unsold for months and "average" photographers' books sell in days.

To answer an earlier comment, the large majority of highly-priced and overpriced photography books listed on Amazon and eBay sit there unsold.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007