Mark’s categories

I’ve just finally realised where I recognised Mark Pilgrim’s categories from. (Well, the “those that…” categories.) It’s been tickling at the back of my head for ages, and, there I was, reading Borges (_The Library of Babel_) on the bog again, and it dawned on me. The Analytical Language of John Wilkins includes the categorisations of the animals, according to an ancient Chinese encyclopaedia:

  • belonging to the Emperor
  • embalmed
  • trained
  • pigs
  • sirens
  • fabulous
  • stray dogs
  • included in this classification
  • trembling like crazy
  • innumerable
  • drawn with a very fine camelhair brush
  • et cetera
  • just broke the vase
  • from a distance look like flies

I think I prefer a few of Mark’s translations (“those that tremble as if they were mad“) and one wonders which of the blogosphere’s multitudes are drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, but that’s a tiny, tiny mystery solved. Now just the Riddle of the Sphinx and the question of where wasps come from to do, and then I can rest eternal.

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