another reason to love the New Yorker

4 May

See this excellent Talk of the Town piece by the infinitely-talented Lauren Collins on the naming of swine flu. Not only does it take a creative stab at an issue we’re flooded with on a daily basis, but SHE QUOTES CHAUCER:

In Chaucer, a noblewoman berates a group of beggars: “masty swyn, ye ydel wrechches, Ful of roten, slowe techches!” Drunkards and slobs, along with the potentates of the Catholic Church—“that lecherous swyne the Byschop of Rome”—were objects of the opprobrium.

And Shakespeare!

Shakespeare associates the word with intemperance—“Oh, monstrous beast, how like a swine he lyes,” a lord says of the sodden tinker Christopher Sly.

Read the full piece. You won’t be disappointed.

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