Beyond the Shoe

UltracrepidarianAfter all these years of finding out what is passing through my clockwork driven thought processes by reading my blog, Mrs P is toying with the idea of starting one herself.

It isn’t certain to happen, but we have got as far as choosing possible blog titles and she is leaning towards ‘The Ultracrepidarian’ – or ‘someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about’.

Of course, neither of us really believe this to be an accurate description, but as Yorkshire Pudding pointed out the other day, a little self-deprecation goes a long way.

I must admit that this wasn’t a word I was familiar with until I read it in the 1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks Off book which is full of such gems. Another title candidate it gave us is Quaquaversal which means to go off in all directions.

Or Pixilated, an adjective defined as being slightly mad having been led astray by pixies.

But Ultracrepidarian has its origins in ancient Greek footwear rather than misguided opinion and I have The Inky Fool to thank for this explanation:

The story goes that Apelles used to leave his new paintings out on public display and then hide behind a pillar to hear people’s reactions. One day he overheard a cobbler pointing out that Apelles had painted a shoe all wrong. So he took the painting away, corrected the shoe and put it out on display again.

The cobbler came back, saw that Apelles had taken his advice and was so proud and puffed up with conceit that he had made the great painter change a detail that he started talking loudly about what was wrong with the leg; at which point Apelles jumped out from his hiding place and shouted: ne sutor ultra crepidam, which approximately translates as the cobbler should go no further than the shoe. Thus ultracrepidiarian is beyond-the-shoe.

So now you know. The next step is to convince Mrs P that she actually has the time to sit down and write her blog.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

5 comments… Add yours
  • Miss P 11th July 2013

    I would love to read Ultracrepidarian!

    I think she needs some 21st century hardware so she can blog from the bench in the garden.

    • Mr Parrot 11th July 2013

      Lovely to hear from you! I think you’re right, maybe an iPad, although I can’t say I’ve found them very good for blogging!

  • Roger Green 11th July 2013

    Well, you know what your Q post will be next round!

  • Jennyta 11th July 2013

    Fantastic! With a title like that, I can’t wait to read it. Do persuade her to go ahead with it!

  • Sweaty Pudding 11th July 2013

    Other possible titles for Mrs Parrots’s blog might be…
    “Life With a Nutter Called Ian”
    “I Wish We Lived in Yorkshire”
    and “Rhymes With Toads”.
    Seriously though, I hope she gives it a whirl. She has nothing to lose and I will be happy to leave a supportive comment after her very first post. Will she be covering your personal hygiene?


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