Things I Reference

These are things I reference: phrases, principles, acronyms, and so on. This is reserved for those cases where I reference them in a different way, or the thing referenceds is really rare, or I coined the phrase myself. Rather than go through and define them every time, I set up this page as a way to generally reference them. Some of these are my own creation. Some of them are not. Either way, I use them kind of often.

Bene Vixi, Appetat Sane Nox

Latin. I have lived well, let the night fall. Found this on the Internet, and I enjoy the connotation. It is a good way to end a party, or to close out a hectic day, is it not?


Used in "pulling a Bolden", "being a Bolden", or "Bolden-esque".

Of course this is just my family name: Bolden. But the joke comes from the various Bolden boys and our history of doing really dumb things but overall surviving it. Falling off stuff. Jumping off even taller stuff. Swinging from things. Playing with explosives. Going whitewater rafting without any sort of raft. Swimming near sharks. And so on.

For whatever reason, outside of the occasional broken bone, we tend to all live through some absolutely painful experiences, experiences we tend to be largely responsible for. Because of this, my nephew and I (and now others) joke about "pulling a Bolden" whenever someone does something massively dumb despite being smarter than that, and still turns out ok.


Dalmilling is a made up word (based on the name of a real town) by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd. It means "trying to make small talk while someone is reading". It is a common occurence that happens to people who try to read in public. Usually readers will try and continue to read, only to be continuously disrupted. Attempts to lift the book back up as a suggestion to bring small talk to an end will be ignored. Being direct that you just want to read will be taken as a grave insult.

Dickens of a Blog

I did a topic-oriented blog on blogspot for a couple of years called "Dickens of a Blog". The name did sort of just pop in my head, but since the blog was about books, pipe tobacco, tea and random bits of social commentary that tied into those topics, it seemed to fit while at the same time being passingly non-sensical. I liked the combination of on-topic and off-topic meanings right in the name. Also, he is probably my only favorite author whose name would work as well. Neither "Gaiman of a Blog", "Palahniuk of a Blog", "Danielewski of a Blog", "Pratchett of a Blog", "Bradbury of a Blog", nor "Keene of a Blog" work all that well, "King of a Blog" gives much the wrong impression and "Dick of a Blog" just seems confrontational.

Anyhow, the real reason is that there isn't really a reason, besides I like how it rolls off my tongue. And yours. You say it real pretty like.


Fisk. Means "fuck". From John Ringo's Council War series. All the standard terms apply: fisking, fisked, fisker, fisk-faced, fisk me silly. And so on.

Godwin's Law

One of the early memes of the Internet, Godwin's Law (named for Mike Godwin) states that sooner or later all discussions will involve a comparison to Hitler.

It is generally taken, now, to mean that a discussion that involves Hitler is a bad one. In fact, the most extreme case says that any discussion involving Hitler or Nazis means that everyone involved in the argument loses, equally because once the argument has reached this point there is no turning back towards rationality.

I often use a middle ground approach. I find references to Hitler to be annoying as hell most of the time, since they are a cheap shot nine times out of ten. I do not think you lose the argument, just that you have to make sure that Hitler has a REAL point in being there.

Jack Cup

A double cup. A pint. Specifically of tea or coffee. Called so because my standard "double sized cup" features Jack Skellington on it. From The Nightmare Before Christmas. I've now consumed so many cups of tea from this cup that it has a sort of permanent tea sheen from it. That's a good thing.

The Karamazov Principle

If the confirmation bias is a principle that leads us to choose data that backs up our wished for findings, then the The Karamazov Principle (as far as I know, I am the one who coined the term) is a stronger version of that. It comes from an early discussion in the titular book where it is stated that miracles are created by faith, because faith is what leads people to want to see miracles. Those without faith will not see them.

The KP is the idea that we go so far as to change our perception and reaction to fit our worldview, that our worldview is built up out of our own prejudices. Not only do we pick data that backs us up, but we see data in such a way as to make that possible. On top of this, we shape the philosophy we live by in such a way as to justify our inherent notions of ourselves and to maximize what we get from others (an idea Nietzsche states in Beyond Good and Evil). It becomes a self-serving cycle where many people feel that life justifies their philosophy rather than seeing that their choice of philosophy (which is a justification of their self) is actually changing the way they see the world about them.

It shows up in politics a lot. A person's favored candidate might be praised for the same actions that a person's hated candidate is chided over. In religion, it can lead one who feels unclean or takes pleasure in suffering to believe that suffering is a test by God or to assign suffering into the domain of th Devil if one really dislikes pain.

A racist will see good members of a given race as exception, while bad members of their own race will be the exception. More than that, relatively minor infractions against the hated race will seem to be horrific in comparison. H.P. Lovecraft's desription of black men as tall, hulking, bestial is a good example. He literally saw blacks different than what they really were. In an early Jules Verne novel, the characters mistake baboons for blacks, in the same line.

A specific example is how religious folk point out Hitler's secularism, while secular folk point out his religion. To a person against religion, religion is cited as being the evil that has crapped upon the world. To a person pro-religion, atheism is listed as the descent of man in the twentieth century. Given access to the same facts, they literally shape the facts to fit the outcome they have already arrived at.

A chief idea that grows out of recognition of the KP is NAWF.

Kitchen Ghost

Our catch-all phrase for UAEs: Unexplained Apartment Events. Read some of the initial events that lead to the coining phrase in this blog post: Just what the hell *is* the Kitchen Ghost?.


lunch + breakfast. The oppostie of brunch. Rather than eat light, quasi-breakfast foods somewhere close to lunch time, you eat heavy, fairly lunch foods for breakfast.

Originally a brain child of this post where it was defined as "eating lunch style foods for breakfast. Popular among college-age males and men who didn't feel like eggs but wanted corndogs instead."


If a meme is a social/mental equivalent to a gene, as in a way that ideas are passed on and shared, then I am not sure why a "meme" in Internet speak is used to refer to quizzes, activities, and so on. I bring this point up in my It Does Not Mean What You Think It Means.

Since I do not agree with that common usage of the word, I have started calling all of those things "meme-catches" or "meme-catchers" because they can be legitimately seen as exposing various thoughts and patterns going around. Therefore, they "catch" the memes and display them. I'm sure I am going to get shouted down on this, but I will be persistent just a little.


This info was later expanded into a full post of it's own: NAWF - Never Argue With a Fundamentalist, The history and reasoning behind the phrase (25 Dec 2009).

NAWF = Never Argue With a Fundamentalist. It can also be phrased as Never Argue With a Fantatic and Never Argue With an Idiot (though that would be NAWI, a closely related principle, except they are fundamenlly enraptured with their own lack of intelligence).

NAWF was a lesson learned by me after fighting with a couple of friends about religion. I realized that when someone holds a fundamental belief about anything, from the Bible to Science, then any attempt to argue a belief contrary to their own is going to do more than waste time and frustrate both parties. Since that time, whenever I feel that a person is reaching the fanatical or fundamental level, I will often tell them "look, I don't want to argue with this, we will never end up agreeing. It will sometimes work.

Most time it fails.

The vast majority of Internet Message Boards would be more sane places, with about 10% the content they currently have, if people just obeyed this rule.

No Digs for Satan

"No Digs for Satan" (31 Aug 2009).


Petpeeving (note, one word) is not aggravating someone in a particular way (though the act of petpeeving does aggravate my wife in a particular way), it is what I now call my particularly jocular way of spreading FUD (Fouled Up Data, to be PC) especially when it comes to discussing etymology or the meanings of words. It is an odd hobby of mine, which reached my favorite moment with:

Pet Peeve [from the World Etymological Archive]: A peeve was a small, British bird (Erithacus chimerus) closely related to the European Robin with a soft red, yellow and blue coat remarkable in the degree to which they would show affection towards owners, now considered extinct. Despite their affectionate nature, they were equally known for both their loud and shrill voice and tendency to peck at their owners when agitated. Charles Dickens, who was a huge fan of the species and who claimed to have half a dozen of them, coined the term "pet peeve" in an 1870 installment of The Mystery of Edwin Drood which referred, there, to keeping an annoyance as close to your heart as a loved one.

Sure, some knew I was joking but most just took it at face value. When I was later making some joking reference to it, I realized that others had assumed that I had copy and pasted it. So, in reference to that, if I petpeeve something, I am making up a false history for the word or phrase.


of the sort of characters, ideas, thems, and events that Philip K. Dick wrote about.

Ratings System, My

I have tried numerical systems of rating (and kind of still use them in some reviews) and stars and the such and most of them have issues. While it is a simple, effective way in theory, what really tends to happen is some weird sort of drift. Things given a score of 60%, which seems better than average, are treated as being bottom of the barrel.

I came up with a simpler method. It has five grades, and they are very subjective. If I need , I can slap a "+" or a "-" to them to alter them.

BLECH means I did not like it. MEH means that it might have had some merit, but mostly demerit. EH means I am mostly neutral on it. Or, in some cases, it has equal merits and minuses. GOOD means I am overall enjoyed it, but did not feel overwhelmed. GREAT means I love it, would recommend it. This is not necessarily a thing without fault, but I feel the faults are completely acceptable.

Since I do like bad movies, a rank of BLECH might be a good thing from time to time. Since "good" movies sometimes irritate me, I might give a movie a GOOD but actually not like it. In such cases of ironic reviews, I will make it known (BLECH, BUT... or GOOD, BUT...).

Si Es Sanus, Sum Insanus

Latin. Possibly wrong. Means "If you are sane, I am insane". This is a phrase I developed to mean "your worldview is so screwed up, that if it was possibly the correct worldview, it would mean that everything I believe in is an idealistic fantasy with no basis in reality". More or less. It is intended to be used somewhat ironically (the other person is implied as insane) and should be trucked out when you realize you cannot agree with anything the other person says.

If I am right in the spelling, by the way, then this is intended for a guy talking to a guy. If either side is female, the -us should become -a. For instance, I think if I was talking to a girl, it would be "Si es sana, sum insanus" while if she was talking to me it would be "Si es sanus, sum insana".

Another variation is aiming it at a crowd of people, in which case it would be "Si estis sani, sum insanus".

See possibly The Karamazov Principle and definitely NAWF.

Si Vales, Valeo

Latin. If you are strong, I am strong. A greeting and/or a parting (some sources conflict on this). The principle invokes a sense of health and well-being, more than our sense of strong. Not only is there a tradition behind, but I also use it because of the sentiment.


I'm sure the etymology of the word means something like "being like a donkey [or rear, maybe] who can talk". It's general usage is "a person who makes witty, but unpleasant, banter" or "one who is rude in their jokes".

Of course, a very common side usage (at least in my family) was "someone who corrects someone, albeit correctly, when the truth could have been left to wayside for better storytelling". I got called this a lot when I would point out something about what really happened.

I tend to use the term as a self-description when I am writing something that, however truthful, tends to go against the common grain of information flow.


Combined by mixing together the letters of Sodom and Gomorrah. The word was used in a blog post describe the fear of adding measures to protect gays into a law, probably because the politicians were afraid of being struck down on high. My friend Carey S. posted a couple of "official" definitions, which I will combine to form the new definition:

The fear that the world is one sneeze away from gays taking over the world, leading to things like being convinced that any law passed to better the life of gays in any way will bring one apocalypse or another.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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