Wednesday, October 24, 2007


They are witticisms, puns, often sage and home-spun wisdom cloaked in humour or satire, but they are all an impressive use of the English language which leaves you gasping for more. They are what I like to call “pratchettisms”.

If you have never heard or read Terry Pratchett – the creator of Discworld – well, all I can suggest is that you go on over to your nearest book store or library and get hold of any one of the 100-odd books written by him, and prepare to be massively entertained. For those who know him, I can imagine you grin as you recollect the recent Pratchett you have read.

A word to the wise for the uninitiated: this is a ripe broth of British humour slow-cooked over a fire of satire that Americans are incapable of perpetrating, and published Indian writers in English sorely lack in attempt. If you have ever enjoyed PG Wodehouse, Spike Milligan, JP Donleavy, Nick Hornby, Joe Orton, the late, great Punch magazine and its many writers and cartoonists, all of whom are a sprinkling in the star field of British writing that uses humour and satire as the medium of expression, so to speak, then you will absolutely love Terry Pratchett.

Another wise word: Pratchett is addictive. You may find yourself out-of-pocket quite soon!

So what follows is my growing collection of Pratchettisms. It is no particular order. It is not necessarily complete, and it is my interpretation. If you wish, you're welcome to add to this list, or create your very own.

  • “You don't keep mines”, said one of the dwarfs. “Mines keep you. You take the treasure out. You don't put it in. That's fundamental to the whole mine business.”
  • Analogies bubbled to the surface like soggy croutons.
  • The whole of life is just like watching a click, he thought. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it all out of yourself from the clues. And you never, never get a chance to stay in your seat for a second chance.

(I started this listing while close to the end of Moving Pictures but had a deadline to return the book to the library, so I never did manage to make this a complete list. I will some day!)

  • Certain things have to happen before other things. Gods play games with the fates of man. But first they have to get all the pieces on the board, and look all over the place for the dice. It is said that whomsoever the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. In fact, whomsoever the gods wish to destroy, they first hand the equivalent of a stick with a fizzing fuse and Acme Dynamite Company written on the side. It's more interesting, and it doesn't take long.
  • It was a strange laugh, totally mirthless and vaguely birdlike. It was very much like its owner, who was what you would get if you extracted fossilized genetic material from something in amber and then gave it a suit.
  • The hippo of recollection stirred in the muddy waters of the mind. They looked at one another in incomprehension, two minds driving the wrong way up a narrow street and waiting for the other man to reverse first.
  • ...[He] himself had the musical talent of a blocked nostril.
  • [He] did not have too many brain cells, and they often had to wave to attract one another's attention,...
  • ...I know you to be a man who seeks to understand the universe. Here's an important rule: never give a monkey the key to the banana plantation.
  • had to allow his wandering mind to get into the same vicinity as his tongue.
  • Something that had been knocking on [her] attention for the past ten minutes finally used it's boots.

And that's just from TWO of his innumerable books!


1 fan of many said...

LOVE it man keep em coming :)!!!

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