WOSSNAME -- JANUARY 2008 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)
====Part 2 -- DISC ODDITIES
11) IMAGE(S) OF THE MONTH
12) ANOTHER B.S. JOHNSON
13) BUGARUP UNIVERSITY CAMPUS NEWSROUND
14) MAKING MONEY IN ROUNDWORLD: THE FARTHING
15) ACTION REPLAY: THE UNOFFICIAL COMPANION CONTEST
11) IMAGE OF THE MONTH
Several, this month!
The END OF CAKE lolcat:
Death takes another holiday:
The rather attractive poster for the Colour of Magic film:
The charming poster for Unseen Theatre's Pratchett Pieces:
12) ANOTHER B.S. JOHNSON
I was wandering around Wikipedia the other day, as one does, and
despite my wanders having nothing to do with Discworld I came across
This particular B.S. Johnson was an English "experimental novelist"
of the mid-20th century. He was so experimental that hardly anyone
bought his novels, and he died of despair at the age of 40.
-- Annie Mac
13) AROUND THE BU CAMPUS: NEW LIFE FOR AN OLD UNIVERSITY
Bugarup University of Roundworld, also known as ozdw@yahoogroups, is
now in its many-th year of life on the anternet. Originally founded
by a disreputable cadre of Fourecksians, BU has been active on
Yahoogroups for the better part of a decade, and on Egroups for some
years before that; apart from its other points of interest, it holds
the dubious distinction of being perhaps the only Pratchett-and-
Discworld-related discussion group that requires Discworld-and-
Pratchett-related posts to carry an ON TOPIC WARNING -- because BU
is not so much a DW-and-P discussion group as a general discussion
group composed of Discworld and Pratchett aficionados!
It's also worth noting that one of the charter members was (and
still is; he ate'nt dead yet) the estimable Joe Schaumburger, head
of the Roundworld Klatchian Foreign Legion and founder of WOSSNAME.
Joe runs the Miami Underwater Campus of BU with an iron hand. Or
Like any University, BU has had its golden years and its quiet
times, and is home to some genuine eccentrics (but no trolls, unless
you count the one guarding the BU Bridge). After a fairly quiet
period in '07, the BU campus has recently come to life again with
new students and faculty, new discussions and a new crop of
eccentrics. So if you think the University life is for you, head
over to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ozdw/
and press the JOIN THIS
GROUP button; a member of the Faculty will be there eventually to
unlock the doors.
In the meantime, here are a few choice bits from recent BU campus
SCARY SPAM, LOVELY SPAM
From the BU Head of Technomancy. Those of you who have been even
momentarily fooled by email scams might recognise the format:
IT REALLY WORKS!
You won't believe what I'm about to tell you, a friend told me and I
was sure it wasn't true, but I tried it for a laugh and it REALLY
It's been verified by the Faculty of Technomancy at Bugarup
University, and by the Guild of Alchemists in Klatch. If you smear
the screen of your Hex with LEMON JUICE, and hold it over a candle
flame, you will see LETTERS APPEARING.
These letters are the secret recipe for Nanny Ogg's LAST DANCE
DESPERATION LOVE POTION. You'll be pulling girls like CASANUNDA if
you put a bit of this in your custard.
There's even more - if you rub the lemon juice on your droit
d'seigneur and hold it over a flame every day after eating the love
custard, after a week you'll be hung like GREAT T'PHON!! No more
spending your hard earned pay at Mrs Palm's, the ladies will be
falling over themselves to get SOME OF YOUR SAUSAGE IN THEIR BUN!
If you send this email to 10 of your friends in five minutes, PONDER
STIBBONS will send you FIVE ANKH-MORPORK DOLLARS. If you don't send
it to 10 friends, fairies will pull out your nasal hairs and your
bum will fall off.
Remember, friends are there for you in danger, but when Mister
Safety catch is not on, Mister Crossbow is not your friend.
QUIRM AND GENUA QUESTION
The question was asked:
In Making Money, it's established that the Quirmian language is
effectively French. And Quirm is a sleepy, boring wine-growing area,
which indicates rural France. Genua is obviously New Orleans, for
the most part, and seems to have French- style cuisine and style
(note the titles of the posh nobs) in addition to the Creole/Cajun
cuisine. Does this indicate, in terms of Roundworld analogues, that
there's a connection between Quirm and Genua? - even though both
places seem to use Morporkian as their lingua franca...?
Don't forget that Genua asked Ankh-Morpork for new nobles (after the
old ones died from inbreeding). So either there is no connection.
The two cities are feuding The connection happened during the Ankh-
Morporkian Empire days - nobles sent to a new colony? Accident of
history? Anyone else got an idea?
Trouserlegs of time?
New Bruce added:
Empire sending colonists bit sounds good. In Soul Music, Quirm is
referred to both as a town and as a city and famed for blue cheese
(Roquefort?). It would be pre-Revolution France as it is ruled by a
duchy. Klatch is then possibly Algeria, because of the Foreign
Legion (and the sand)? There is also the Ankh-Morporkian term
"Pardon my Klatchian" - Roundworld usage is "Pardon my French".
PUNES, OR PLAYS ON WORDS
...gave me a Merkin "Making Money" for Hogswatch - the
spelling drove us nuts.
A money making merkin may have been more profitable...
We had one but the knobbly bit fell off.
DON'T TELL THE RUPERT
New Bruce found something interesting to share:
There were two Monstrous Regiment allusions on the telly last week.
"Monarchy" mentioned William of Orange had a printing press with him
during the Glorious Revolution (or Orange Invasion, depending on
your view of history)and in "Fooling Hitler" they showed how they
packed uniform-dressed dummies full of explosives - these were known
[Editor's note: yes, the ON TOPIC WARNING tag was indeed used for
most of these.]
14) MAKING ROUNDWORLD MONEY: THE HISTORY OF THE FARTHING
by Annie Mac and Steven D'Aprano
For Americans -- and for Commonwealth people who grew up after the
advent of decimal coinage -- the old British system of coinage seems
both romantic and confusing. Guineas, crowns, florins, shillings,
farthings, ten-bob notes, threepenny bits, ha'pennies, not to
mention the whole twelves-and-twenties system.
Ankh-Morpork coinage goes down to very small denominations. The
elim, referred to so amusingly in Making Money and equal to one-
sixteenth of one penny, does have a Roundworld analogue: the
farthing equalled one-quarter penny, and quarter-farthing coins were
minted in the late 1800s, although only circulated in certain far-
flung British colonies. Presumably these were the ones where
quarter-farthings could buy for a partially smoked cigarette end,
half-eaten apple core or very small, slightly green potato! So for
now, let's look into the history of its parent coin, the farthing...
Farthings, worth one-quarter of a penny, were minted and circulated
in England from the 13th century until 31 December 1960, when they
ceased to be legal tender. Early farthings were silver, but as they
contained a quarter-penny's worth of silver and were thus extremely
small and easily lost. And because far fewer farthings were produced
than pennies and halfpennies, hardly any silver farthings have
survived to modern times. Copper farthings were first issued during
the reign of King James I; copper coinage had been in use in
Scotland and on the European mainland for some time, but the English
seemed to have a Dwarf-like obsession with gold and silver,
requiring that coins contained their proper values' worth of metal.
James decided not to have the copper coinage produced by the Royal
Mint, but instead put the production of farthings into the hands of
John Harington, 1st Baron Harington of Exton (a bit more posh than
the little old ladies of the A-M Royal Mint outsource team).
In 1684-85 farthings made of tin with a small central copper plug
were introduced. Tin farthings continued to be minted during the
reign of William and Mary, but these lost popularity due to the
problems of the corrosion of tin, and in 1693-1694 copper farthings
were produced again.
Back to outsourcing: manufacturers were using cheap labour,
including foreigners -- some of them engravers who couldn't even
spell the king's name! There was also a thriving counterfeiting
'industry' (amazingly, some unofficial pieces passed muster as
currency because their markedly different legends meant that the
manufacturers would not be accused of counterfeiting). Also, genuine
coins were melted down and underweight fabrications produced from
the reclaimed metal. By 1698 there was a glut of copper coinage and
an Act was passed to stop the coining for one year.
During the Great Recoinage of 1816, production of gold and silver
coins took precedence over copper; copper farthings were not minted
again until 1821. Benedetto Pistrucci was then employed as a
designer and engraver at the mint, and when he came to engrave the
designs for the new farthing he produced a "spectacularly ugly
portrait of the king, with a bulging face and neck", which rapidly
got him the sack. This may have served as inspiration for a certain
plot point in Making Money -- can you say "brains of a turnip"?!
During Queen Victoria's reign, farthings were produced in two
metals, the copper issue of 18381860 and the bronze issue of
The farthing of Queen Elizabeth II's reign was only produced for
four years (19531956). In 1953 it was noted in The Times that a
bus conductor refused to accept eight farthings for a two-penny bus
fare, and that a newspaper vendor had become abusive when offered
six farthings for a newspaper, even though the farthing was still
legal tender in sums up to one shilling; faced with declining value
and popularity, the last farthings were minted in 1956 and the
farthing ceased to be legal tender after 31st December 1960.
Lastly, an interesting note: the current (decimal-system) penny coin
is almost the same size as the last minted farthings.
-- from various sources, including Wikipedia and childhood and
15) ACTION REPLAY: THE UNOFFICIAL COMPANION CONTEST
Since many of you have been away from the holidays and may have lost
the December 2007 issue of WOSSNAME in your mountains of piled-up
emails, we're extending the closing date of the Unofficial Companion
contest. Once again, with feeling:
1. Write a short essay (maximum 500 words give or take 10%) about
Discworld, or any character from the Discworld series or other
books by Terry Pratchett, and what it, he, she, or...um...it means
to you. The best essay, as judged by a team of independent judges,
will win a copy of Andrew Butler's new book, An Unofficial Companion
to the Novels of Terry Pratchett.
2. Write a piece of poetry or verse describing what Discworld, or
any Discworld character or other character from any Pratchett book,
means to you. Limericks and haikus are allowed. The best piece (not
necessarily the longest), also judged by the team of judge-y judges,
will win a copy of the book.
Bonus marks will be given for anyone writing a limerick who manages
to channel Nanny Ogg whilst still keeping it clean enough for
Closing date: delivered to our inbox by midnight, 22nd February
As with our Anagram Contest, you are free to enter as many times as
End of Part 2 -- continued on Part 3 of 3.
If you did not get all three parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2008 by Klatchian Foreign Legion