Monday, November 5, 2012


Meaning: Originally meaning a band or strip of cloth, the meaning evolved through tatters to ribbons, on into strips of paper used to add notes or hold a seal, and then out into a multitude of figurative uses - record companies, tags on clothing, stereotypes, and even categories on blogs.

Usefulness: 2 (I've just added a labels gadget to this blog, that's how useful they are)

Logofascination: 3 (It's a word so old its etymology is murky; tag has a similar evolution - from something hanging off clothes into a way of finding things in an electronic medium.)

In the wild: As you may or may not be able to see, depending on how you consume your SDOSTU, each post has labels - which chapter of G&P or which work of Sir Thomas' it links to, and how many degrees it took to link the subject of the post to the word in the source material. (Words invented by Sir Thomas are obviously 0 degree words). There are also labels for recurring themes such as the -mancy chapter and goats. (Words associated with goats are generally rude). As mentioned above, there's now a spot on the blog - down on the right - where you can see the more common labels and how often they occur.

Degrees: 2

Connections: label - tag

Which is used in: G&P, First Book (Gargantua), LVI: How the men and women of the religious order of Theleme were apparelled. Theleme is an Abbey built by Gargantua, which Rabelais uses to satirise religious life, but possibly also to posit a utopian ideal. Here we learn what the men of the order wore:
Their doublet was of cloth of gold, of cloth of silver, of velvet, satin, damask, taffeties, &c., of the same colours, cut, embroidered, and suitably trimmed up in perfection. The points were of silk of the same colours; the tags were of gold well enamelled. Their coats and jerkins were of cloth of gold, cloth of silver, gold, tissue or velvet embroidered, as they thought fit. Their gowns were every whit as costly as those of the ladies. Their girdles were of silks, of the colour of their doublets.

No comments:

Post a Comment