Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thrown Out at Third

Blame it on the champagne.

A colleague having just gotten her official tenure letter, the department chair brought bubbly for a collegial toast, an honorific from which I do not shrink. Therefore, it is understandable that, as the meeting drew toward close, I took the opportunity -- we were speaking of long-term planning, I believe -- to point out that, "As John Kenneth Galbraith said, 'In the long run we are all dead. ' "

A Canadian colleague was pleased, given Galbraith's provenance. A British colleague very kindly waited until after the meeting to point out that the epigrammaticist was, in fact, John Maynard Keynes.

Tripped by the triple. But I think it is a parlor game, to see how long you can go point counterpoint with triple names:

Edna St. Vincent Millay
John Foster Dulles
Lord Howie Lovit
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

But the latter may not be a true triple. There's a fine line between knowing some one's full name and that person invariably being known by a triple.

Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown is always thus known? Should he, in fact, be called a quadruple? Should Millay?

And what about titles? I remember playing the card game "Authors" as a kid:

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Sir Walter Scott

but also

Robert Louis Stevenson
Edgar Allen Poe
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Click and Clack

Hey, wait a minute....


david silver said...

eddie van halen

Anonymous said...

J. Michael Robertson

Peter Moore said...

Lee Harvey Oswald
Billy Bob Thornton

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Phillip Seymour Hoffman