Monday, June 23, 2008

Buggre All This Everything

The following is from Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

The book was commonly known as the Buggre Alle This Bible.* The lengthy compositor's error, if such it may be called, occurs in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse five:

2. And bye the border of Dan, fromme the east side to the west side, a portion for Afher.
3. And bye the border of Afhter, fromme the east side even untoe the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
4. And bye the border of Naphtali, from the east side untoe the west side, a portion for Manaffeh.
5. Buggre all this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typeƒettinge. Master Biltonn if no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tighte fisted Southwarke Knobbeƒticke. I telle you, onne a daye laike thif Ennywone half an oz. of Sense should bee oute in the Sunneshain, ane nott Stucke here alle the liuelong daie inn thiƒ mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workeƒhoppe. @*"Æ@;!*
6 And bye the border of Ephraim, from the east fide even untoe the west fide, a portion for Reuben.

*[The Buggre Alle This Bible was also noteworthy for having twenty seven verses in the third chapter of Genesis, instead of the more usual twenty four.

They followed verse 24, which in the King James version reads:

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," and read:

25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying Where is the flaming sword which was given unto thee?
26 And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.
27 And the Lord did not ask him again.

It appears that these verses were inserted during the proof stage. In those days it was common practice for printers to hang proof sheets to the wooden beams outside their shops, for the edification of the populace and some free proofreading, and since the whole print run was subsequently burned anyway, no one bothered to take up this matter with the nice Mr. A. Ziraphale, who ran the bookshop two doors along and was always so helpful with the translations, and whose handwriting was instantly recognizable.]

It was this passage (or paƒƒage) which made me realize that I am essentially a high-tech typesetter (not that I mind, it's actually good to have a label to use when I need to answer the "What do you do" question). After last week, I'd replace "Master Scraggs" with "Miƒtreƒƒ Patricia," but other than that, I'm familiar with the temptation.

Got my water softener estimates today. The good news is that it's not $3,500 or even $3,000 but probably more like $1,800-$1,900. The bad news is that is 95 Ladies of the Grindhouse, 158 Body Glaze Samplers or just under 30 dog baths!

Dad was a big help this afternoon, asking questions and letting me think out loud after all the salesmen had left. He also took a look at my bathroom fan, couldn't fix it, and took the carcass away to get a new one (which I hope will be installed before JammiesFest). He also did all my Windows updates and admired my Kogimugs (but refused to use one on the grounds that he would feel awful if he broke it). It was a productive afternoon if not an exciting one.

It looks as if JammiesFest will have usable water but possibly a lot of ramen on the menu. Ahh well, the most important thing is the time with the friends willing to drive all this way to be here. :)


  1. So loking forward to Jammies Fest. :D

  2. That excerpt made me smile. Good Omens is one of my all time favourite books.