Flote and Lues


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THE EDITOR told the sedate Idler: "You are a lues upon the flote. Just because you occasionally work a bit of the literary niellie on the back page, don't think you belong to the recto, and no amount of saying it with sego will make me change my mind.

"You insult the intelligence of our readers by claiming that certain words are obscure - just because you've never heard of them and can't get past the average score in the Word Game, you rugose nest of pullia.

"I'm sure that the clever Wordsworth fellow on the leader page will explain how all these words are in common everyday use and are well-known to everyone - except those whose brains are soaked n sorgo-related derivatives. I'd ask you to go away and porrer-segue somewhere else except you're from the wrong part of England to know even how to do that."

Well, of course, Mr Editor, Wordsworth couldn't agree more. The way you harangued The Idler with words of which he publicly confessed his ignorance, proves yet again why you are who you are and he is just an old hack (again with his own admission).

He invited readers to take those words which he could not understand and arrange them into a sensible paragraph. You. Mr Editor, did just that with typical aplomb.

But being fully aware that not all are fortunate enough to share your command of the language (especially the Idler), I will add a translation as was originally requested.

Flote - a company of persons, a multitude (related to a 'fleet' as in ships); Lues - a plague of pestilence, a spreading disease (Latin: lues - a disease); Nielli - a compound used to create an ornamental effect on engraved silver or other metals (Italian: niello - black); Porrer - a heavy clog or boot to kick with (north of England dialect); Porrer-segue - clog-dancing (see segue); Pulia - flea-related insects (Latin: pulex - flea); Recto - in printing, the right-hand page, as opposed to verso, the back (Latin); Rugose - marked by wrinkled, corrugated, ridgy (Latin); Sego - a showy-flowered plant of the western USA (Amer Indian); Segue - a Spanish dance or the music for such a dance (Spanish); Sergo - variation of sorghum, or beer made there from (Indian); Sudate - sweating or perspiring (usually nervously) (Latin).

So now you know, although in all seriousness, the Idler and other word-gaming readers have a valid point. Short of cross-checking against the OED for every permutation that could possibly be a word, rarely can an "excellent" score can be achieved.

Except, of course, by the Editor


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