klwilliams: (Karen passport photo)
One of my favorite dictionaries is Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words, and for Christmas one year I bought myself a page-a-day calendar that contains one word each day from Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary. January 17 for that year the word for the day was jumentous, "pertaining to the smell of horse urine."

When I was in college I read Hamlet for an English class, and I had great difficulty getting through the soliloquys because so many of the phrases in them had been used as titles of other works, and I kept being thrown out of the flow of the work. So I started thinking. So many phrases had been used as titles that almost an entire soliloquy had been used up. Could that work in reverse? Could you open the complete works of Shakespeare, pick a phrase at random, and use that as your title for a story?

I couldn't resist this challenge, so I did just that, and the phrase I came up with was..."I do smell all horse-piss."

(The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1

TRINCULO Monster, I do smell all horse-piss; at
which my nose is in great indignation.)

I still haven't written the story, though I intend to at some point or other. I wonder if January 17 was a hint to get started?


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June 2017

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