Murder, Madness and the Love of Social Websites


I’m up to 1,300 words of my ‘The End of Time, Part Two’ review. Clearly what I lack in speed I make up for in size.


There’s also an atypicalreview redesign coming. If I had any sense of timing at all, it’d be ready on April 4, a date to which I’m not counting the days to at all, no sir, not me. But I almost certainly don’t, q.v. paragraph one.

Finally, and because there’s no way in hell I’ll get around to reviewing it, I’ll briefly mention The Surgeon of Crowthorne, a book about murders, schizophrenics and the English Dictionary. It’s a peculiar read — constantly interesting but not particularly engrossing, if that’s possible. You get a good perspective of the almost insanely daunting task of making a comprehensive dictionary, which would be pretty tricky today, but even more ridiculous without computers. But just as interestingly, you get a good idea of how horrible it’d be to be a bit mental1 150 years ago.

Linking to books is trickier than linking to movies, where IMDb is king. I’ve gone with above, but in future perhaps Shelfari will be a better bet. It’s kind of like a social networking site for reading. Is anyone else using it? I started importing my library from Delicious Library and got rather bored rather quickly.

In any case, the title didn’t match the cover for Crowthorne — which has clearly gone through some name changes in its time — but this may be fixed by the time you visit, as Shelfari allows you to suggest changes to its information a la Wikipedia, which is pretty neat. If anyone is inspired to sign up, I’m here.

  1. Not the technical term, as I understand it.

8 Responses to “Murder, Madness and the Love of Social Websites”

  1. Correction: people with schizophrenia

  2. Surely if you’re correcting me, “a bit mental” should be corrected first!

    But yes. People with Schizophrenia. Are psychopaths now people with psychopathy? Anyhow, I don’t understand all this. If I’ve got a cold everyone knows I’m a coldian.

  3. I would have gone with just a nice umbrella term like “tard” myself.

    My nice proper Mosby medical dictionary likes “schizophrenics”. It means someone with schizophrenia. Are we not considering that PC now or something?

  4. Mr Telley may correct me but I believe a recent trend is to not call people suffering from mental illness a specific name derived from their illness, i.e. to refer to mental illnesses in the same terms we refer to other illnesses.

    Well, except leprosy.

  5. A cold is a viral infection you can catch. It’s different!

    I think there is a very strong case to be made that saying “someone with schizophrenia” rather than “the schizophrenic” shifts the emphasis from the disorder to the actual person. I can’t imagine anyone would like to be labelled like that in conversation and we probably shouldn’t since anecdotally there still seems to be some misconceptions and fear surrounding mental illness.

    Which I think it slightly different to describing demographics, incidentally.

    It isn’t a case you’ve made however – your actual argument is wrong. Off the top of the head I can think of diabetes, asthma, haemophilia, possibly even epilepsy which aren’t mental illnesses that you can add ‘-ic’ on the end.

    Anyway I feel like we will all come up on the same side if we start to argue what should have been the issue in the first place, so I’d rather not – I just needed to correct your last sentence. Which makes me possibly more pedantic than everyone else here.

  6. I was forgetting, well, all of those! Ahem.

    But yes, it seems we’re in violent agreement otherwise. Bloody haemophiliacs.

  7. I resent giving you the opportunity to make such an awful pun.

  8. No one in the universe will believe me when I say this, but I seriously didn’t intend that. I guess I’m just naturally hilarious.