Sunday, June 05, 2011

This is what they issue cadets in Grammar Nazi schools.
So, among all the souvenir crap on which they've stuck the Tallinn Culture Capital 2011 logo, there is a decent-sized wooden stick, about the same size as a small police baton - i.e. not as big as a baseball bat, but enough to do some appreciable non-lethal damage. The Estonian name for it is v├Ągikaigas, and it's intended for a kind of push-pull exercise, an old-timey children's game.

The English name they settled on?

Nitpicker's cudgel.

Outstanding. And yes, I checked Google and Wikipedia, there is no obvious etymological relationship. Somebody in the Culture Capital project team honestly believes that a wooden stick, about two fingers' thick and a forearm long, is primarily the workaday tool of a nitpicker.

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