Archive for June, 2011

Wednesday Word of the Week: culverin

Monday was a public holiday in Korea – where I live – so there was no Monday Masterclass this week. It will return next week. In the meantime, here’s a new word for the Lexicon.

/ˈkæləntʃər, -ˌtʃʊər/

Pathology . a violent fever with delirium, affecting persons in the tropics.

1585–95; earlier calentura < Spanish: fever, equivalent to calent ( ar ) to heat (< Latin calent-, stem of calēns, present participle of calēre to be hot) + –ura -ure

—Related forms
cal·en·tu·ral, cal·en·tu·rish, adjective


I had several men died in my ship of calentures, so that I was forced to get recruits out of Barbadoes, and the Leeward Islands

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Friday Fantastic: Doraleous and Associates

Doraleous and Associates is a series of animations about a brave, noble warrior, Doraleous, and his less than totally competent associates – a kind-hearted, helium-voiced dwarf (Drak), a lascivious, drink-loving old wizard (Mirdon) and a mulleted, southern US-voiced and highly annoying elf archer (Neebs). There are also a couple of associate associates, the perpetually helmeted Sir Walken, and the taciturn, Stephen Frost lookalike barbarian, Broof. Doraleous is a veteran warrior, but the first episode sees him having just set up his mercenary company an beginning to look for noble causes to fight for.

Broof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Frost

Much of the humour of the series comes from Doraleous’s being surrounded by idiots who don’t follow his orders (especially Neebs). For instance, when a village is threatened by the dastardly, Richard III-like King Calas (sounds like ‘callous’), Doraleous suggests a contest of champions, best warrior versus best warrior. Broof volunteers for the good guys, and is to fight Titanus (‘tight anus’) of the bad guys … at least until Neebs shoots Titanus in the head. The contest is reconfigured as second-best warrior versus second-best warrior. Doraleous puts himself forth as the good guys’ second best – except Neebs only hears second-best warrior (which he thinks means him) and, again, shoots the opponent dead. The two leaders then decide on a contest of the worst warriors. Two feeble, scrawny youngsters then fight it out, cry in terror as they bat their weapons at each other, until one finally wins.

Although clearly inspired by the idiocy and petty politics of roleplaying gamers and their characters and campaigns, there are no explicit RPG references (as there are in The Order of the Stick, for example). And, while there is much playing on fantasy tropes, the humour is accessible and likeable (although I’ve yet to put this to the ultimate test – my girlfriend).

Doraleous and Associates is one of the best fantasy comedies I’ve seen and I recommend it highly. It currently runs to 36 episodes – the first 24 comprising season one. It is created by Hank and Jed Movie Pictures and is hosted on The Escapist.

I can’t embed the video here so you’ll have to click here to take a look.

If you know of any other fantasy humour, please post a link below.

Friday Fast Forward Rewind

Herewith some delectable titbits from the world of fantasy this week:

Wednesday Word of the Week: instinct

This week’s word seems like an ordinary enough item, but it’s actually different to the noun ‘instinct’, and has a different (although similar) etymology and pronunciation (the emphasis is on the second syllable). What sentences can you compose that are instinct with wit and erudition? Post them below.

in·stinct 2

1. filled or infused with some animating principle (usually followed by with ): instinct with life.
2. Obsolete . animated by some inner force.

1530–40; < Latin instinctus excited, roused, inspired, past participle of *insting ( u ) ere; see instinct 1


I could clearly distinguish, however,  that the swathed mummy-like form before me was that of a tall and lovely woman, instinct with beauty in every part, and also with a certain snake-like grace which I had never seen anything to equal before.

Source: She by H Rider Haggard.