November 09, 2007

No comment on this street name

Talking of street names in Scottish cities, such as Edinburgh, I need to just mention that I went to the ancient city of St Andrews last weekend for a philosophy conference (an excellent one), and I happened to notice the name of one long narrow street down which it was often necessary for me to pass. Its very striking name was Butts Wynd. Now, I am not going to make any comment on this, because I think American readers will agree that comment would be flatulent. Sorry, I mean fatuous. Superfluous. Whatever. Sorry.

By the way, I found the above picture of the sign in the Dictionary of Words in the Wild, where it was accompanied by the legend: "street sign amused dumb Americans in St. Andrews, Scotland." Well, really! We Americans are dumb simply for having a sense of humor?

It made me recall with a certain sympathy the patient in the very old joke whose psychological evaluation reveals that he finds every one of the Rorschach inkblots violently and obscenely sexual. "Me sexually obsessed? You're the one who brought out the collection of filthy pictures!"

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at November 9, 2007 03:30 PM