Thursday, 29 March 2012

Entry: gonfalonish (adj.)


In context: "On Skull's back a half-m.-long skeleton in a black robe and a cowl playing the violin in the wind of a crag with THE DEAD in maroon on a vertical gonfalonish banner unfurling below; on one biceps either an icepick or a mucronate dagger, and down both forearms a kind of St. Vitus's dance of leather-winged dragons with the words - on both forearms - HOW DO YOU LIK YOUR BLUEYED BOY NOW MR DETH!?, the typos of which, Tiny felt, only served to heighten Skull's whole general tatt-gestalt's intended effect, which Tiny presume was to repel."

Definition: From gonfalon (n.): A banner or ensign, frequently composed of or ending in several tails or streamers, suspended from a cross-bar instead of being directly fastened to the pole, esp. as used by various Italian republics or in ecclesiastical processions.

Other:  Definition was a bit of a surprise - I had assumed that the term was in some way pejorative. 


A part of me cringes any time I see a writer, DFW or otherwise, attempting to mimic someone else's typos/spelling mistakes. 

SNOOT score: 1


Page:208
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


2 comments:

  1. “Definition was a bit of a surprise - I had assumed that the term was in some way pejorative.”

    You might have been thinking of “granfalloon”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granfalloon

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's definitely what happened. Cat's Cradle is a great book and one I've read several times, so probably a mis-remembering.

      Thanks Peter.

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