From Espresso: Labour failed. The Liberal Democrats were massacred. The United Kingdom Independence Party was thwarted, taking around 12% of the vote but just a single constituency (another reason to regard Britain’s electoral system as hopelessly decrepit). When the votes were counted in Britain’s general election last night, there were lots of losers—but none more humiliated than the pollsters, who until the end were predicting a hung parliament, in which Ed Miliband, Labour’s now-doomed leader, seemed as likely to become prime minister as David Cameron. Instead, as the final results trickled in, Mr Cameron’s Conservatives seem set for a thin but astonishing overall majority, securing another five years in government, this time without the need for coalition partners. The other triumphant victors were the separatist Scottish National Party, who swept all but three of Scotland’s 59 seats. That Scottish landslide may in time mean the union itself ranks among last night’s victims http://econ.st/1F3uczG
The couple looked almost unrecognisable.
Despite his fortune, the normally well-dressed Hans, stepped out wearing a mismatched outfit of grubby-looking black trousers, a blue striped polo shirt, black blazer and green baseball cap.
His normally glamorous looking wife, Eva, wore denim shorts, open-toed sandals and an oversized black coat.
She had no make-up and her hair looked bedraggled.
詩人艾略特六十二歲那年在《時代》周刊裏說，人生五十歲到七十歲最難熬，人家總愛找你做些事，你又還不到七老八十，不便回絕："The years between 50 and 70 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things and yet are not decrepit enough to turn them down."
In Chicago for a series of lectures, T. S. (The Cocktail Party) Eliot, 62, mused: "The years between 50 and 70 are the hardest . . . You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down . . . Basically I am a very lazy man . . . After Christmas I will try to get down to doing another play. I know that no one ever has two successes in a row, so I am writing the next play for a small out-of-the-way theater in London . . . You must go on living day to day, but you cannot go on . . . without hope. If there is not hope, then we would all lie down and expire."
By SUSAN JACOBY
More Americans should take the initiative to spell out what treatments they do - and do not - want by writing living wills and appointing health care proxies. 活著時就要立遺囑 請健康代理人
Maoist Rebels Widen Deadly Reach Across India
By JIM YARDLEY
Indian Maoists, once dismissed as ragtag ideologues, have evolved into a potent and lethal insurgency.
Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionaryAdjective
ragtag (comparative more ragtag, superlative most ragtag)
- Unkempt, shabby, or in a state of disrepair.
- He liked to wear an old ragtag coat that was so threadbare that he'd get sunburned through it.
- Very diverse; comprised of irregular and dissimilar components.
- The guerrillas were a ragtag band of local thugs, former soldiers, displaced farmers, and political idealists.
- (unkempt, shabby, or in disrepair): bedraggled, decrepit, motheaten, tattered
- (comprised of irregular or dissimilar components): motley, jumbled, patchwork, uneven
My mother ordered me to straighten up my room and get rid of the higgledy-piggledy piles of clothing littering my floor.
Definition of straighten
Chaotic and disorderly; in jumbled confusion
Reduplicated phrases are those that use the partial repetition of a word, often a nonsense word, for verbal effect. 'Higgledy-piggledy' is one of a number of such phrases that refer to chaos and disorder. Other examples are 'helter-skelter', 'harum-scarum', pell-mell', 'raggle-taggle', hobson-jobson' and 'hurly-burly'. Why reduplication, especially of words beginning with 'h', suggests jumble and disorder isn't clear.
Most reduplicated terms involve the rhyming of words of two syllables - hanky-panky, namby-pamby, mu
mbo-jumboand so on.
'Higgledy-piggledy' is an unusual example that uses three-syllable words. In
fact, it's a little more unusual still - it's an example of a grammatical form
called a 'double dactyl'. A dactyl is a three-syllable word with the stress on
the first syllable and, not surprisingly, a double dactyl is a word made from
two dactyls put together. An example of such is 'idiosyncrasy'.
'Higgledy-piggledy' is considered such a good example of a double dactyl that it
has given its name to a form of structured, some might say tortured, poetic
verse that uses double dactyls. I'll spare you a reprint of one of those here;
they aren't at the apex of the poet's art.
The first time that 'higgledy-piggledy' appears in print is in the first edition of John Florio's English/Italian dictionary A Worlde of Wordes, 1598:
Snatchingly, higledi-pigledie, shiftingly.
The jury is out as to whether the expression derives as a reference to pigs, but there's certainly a pretty good case to be made for a porcine origin. The variant form of the phrase, 'higly-pigly', although not found in print until 1664, seems to suggest that 17th century authors linked the phrase to pigs. If anything epitomises 'higgledy-piggledy' it's a herd of pigs. If I said I could actually prove that the person who coined 'higgledy-piggledy' had pigs in mind I would be telling porkies, but it seems highly likely.