[DWJ] Re: the curate's egg

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jan 27 08:19:46 EST 2006

In <200601271308.03048.irina at valdyas.org>, Irina Rempt wrote:
>On Friday 27 January 2006 13:00, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>> Calling something a "curate's egg" is calling it completely useless,
>> bad all through.
>Sorry, I didn't know the whole story! I only wanted to say that, indeed, 
>parts of _Twisting the Rope_ were excellent.

Oh, blast, sorry.  I didn't mean to bounce down your throat like that.
It's just one of those things that has irritated me slightly ever since
I first met the cartoon in a bound volume of Punch in my boarding-school
-- there was a set there almost from when Punch started, with only a few
volumes missing, and I read them with real fascination even though I had
no idea what most of it was about -- and it was such a *good* joke,
subtle and clever and full of nuance. Then I heard the phrase used, and
realised that the whole glorious thing had just got turned round
backwards to mean the opposite of what the orignal intended.

I apologise for your catching a lifetime's peeve.

(Need more coffee!)


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