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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Friday August 01, 2003
11:47 PM

/RTF Pocket Guide/

[ #13858 ]
Dear All,

You all have to buy my new book RTF Pocket Guide (as well as my first book).


Here, as a tantalizing token of your obligatory desire, is the README file for the code archive that accompanies the book:


Dear Reader,
Congratulations on your subtle taste and fine discernment in buying my book, RTF Pocket Guide. I do hope you'll find the book helpful with whatever RTF-related tasks you have in mind.

This archive contains all the example documents and substantial codeblocks from the book, plus some other interesting goodies.

I've heard it said that Mary McCarthy (an unjustly forgotten author) was fond of pointing out that if you got nothing else out of War and Peace, there was always Tolstoy's gourmet recipe for strawberry jam! (Actually it was in Anna Karenina, chapter two; I don't know whether the error is McCarthy's, or of the person (Gore Vidal) that I heard quoting her.) In any case, if you get nothing else out of RTF Pocket Guide and/or this distribution of files accompanying it, at least you'll get a decent ASCII chart, and instructions for making an origami CD case.

I have been asked about some of the foreign words and phrases I use in the book. The Latin text is explained in ./outtakes/latin.rtf in this archive.

The phrase "Wenn ein Löwe sprechen könnte, wir könnten ihn nicht verstehen" is a famous musing of Wittgenstein's which means "If a lion knew how to speak, we would not know how to understand".

The German word "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" in section "Hyphenation Point" means "coming to terms with our past" -- prototypically 'our' Nazi past, although it is applied variously, and so a more modern translation might be "truth and reconciliation".

The Sanskrit word "Trimsikavijñaptimatratasiddhih" means "Thirty-canto treatise on consciousness-only" and is the title of a work by the philosopher Vasubandhu, who lived around in the 4th century AD, in the Peshawar province of India. History reports that he and his brother Asanga may have had other brothers, who were ALSO named Asanga and/or Vasubandhu. Kind reader, I could not have made this up.

Similarly, I did not make up these facts about other words that occur in the book:

  • get-internal-real-time is a real ANSI Common Lisp function.
  • 2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine is a real chemical name of the popular (and possibly carcinogenic) pesticide Atrazine.
  • "Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication" (et al) in the origami CD case section, really is a track an the 1975 Parliament Funkadelic album Mothership Connection.
  • AccessibleAWTCheckboxMenuItem and ChangeToParentDirectoryAction are real symbol names in some popular Java libraries.
  • Navajo Made Easier is really a book by Irvy Goosen, Who's Afraid of Luxembourgish? is really a book by Jul Christophory, and Learn Maltese, Why Not? is really a book by Joseph Vella.

   -- Sean M. Burke
      Juneau, Alaska
      July 2003

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