Friday, November 16, 2012

In Which I Get a Bit "Duckie"

So I was flipping through some Dover books while at the bookstore on my vacation... it's something that I like to do even though I have trouble forking over 15.00 for a book that only costs that much because of the CD rom which I thought I didn't want. And sadly, I found enough to justify a black friday trip downtown. Anyway... one book in particular yielded some great information.

According to a book published in 1948 by Bruce Publishing, which was reprinted by Dover and assembled by Burl Osborn, Constructive Design, that fun thing we like to do on Pintrest had a different name. Those Inspiration Boards that Michelle Ward reminds us to collect and all those yummy folders she's tagged as evidence of her artistic life & thought process, the folders and folders of pictures on my desktop that I like to call a Virtual Corkboard went by a   different name.

Artists way back when used to call that kind of collection...

the Morgue

I kid you not. Seriously. The Morgue. I am still trying to figure out what the hell that is all about. Kinda gives new meaning to "Murders in the Rue Morgue."* since the story doesn't really take place in a forensic setting as our modern, crime drama minds conjours. I suppose a street full of shops in Paris could be considered inspirational enough to be called a Morgue in that context. But wow... I only see the file cabinets full of folders of dead people in my head. Oh wait.... let me check the Internet.

And... I guess that is where the name came from.

A Morgue is a building where the dead are housed, slid into walls on slabs behind doors that if you look close enough, do resemble a file cabinet. One particular building in Paris, having been constructed or set aside for that purpose, would undoubtedly have rooms with walls resembling banks of drawers. Similarly, Newspapers at one time had rooms of file folders containing resource and referencing material... their own library catalog. Undoubtedly, some witty newspaper man back in the day took one trip to the morgue and was unnerved. To settle his nerves upon returning to the office, he must have indulged in some schadenfreude humor... that dark wit that comes from having ones nerves completely jangled by surprise, an seeing the similarities between the two rooms began a trend.

Sadly it is a trend that only Design school students and word geeks are going to keep. And now I wonder if Michelle mentioned that and I missed it. And I wonder HOW DID I MISS THAT!?!?!?!?! That just screams my kind of "laugh at a funeral" humor.

Not to worry... I shall make up for lost time.

*And as for Poe. Apparently Rue le Morgue was the street in Paris in which the first mortuary building stood. So the whole street was named for the famous... infamous? building. And while the murders do not take place in the Morgue itself (which really, English teachers, you couldn't fill us in on the origins of the words to avoid confusing us with teh ambiguous nature of the word?) they take place in the shadow of the Morgue. And now I have to go read that short story again so that it makes sense in my head. NOW that I know where the confusion was. Erhmmmm.... education cuts indeed!

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