Friday, August 14, 2009

Severalty

SEVERALTY, n. Separateness, as, lands in severalty, i.e., lands held individually, not in joint ownership. Certain tribes of Indians are believed now to be sufficiently civilized to have in severalty the lands that they have hitherto held as tribal organizations, and could not sell to the Whites for waxen beads and potato whiskey.
Lo! the poor Indian whose unsuited mind
Saw death before, hell and the grave behind;
Whom thrifty settler ne'er besought to stay —
His small belongings their appointed prey;
Whom Dispossession, with alluring wile,
Persuaded elsewhere every little while!
His fire unquenched and his undying worm
By "land in severalty" (charming term!)
Are cooled and killed, respectively, at last,
And he to his new holding anchored fast!
2009 Update: In the language of law, uncontested in possession, which is to say, impossible.

16 comments:

TLP said...

I'm first and you're not!
Now: to read the post.

TLP said...

SEVERALTY: This word is just so wrong! Several means MANY. But this silly word twists itself into meaning only ONE.

Severalty: selfish.

Ariel the Thief said...

The English has many words for God!

the amoeba said...

SEVERALTY, n. The state aspired to by those for whom the Union dues are too high. See QUEBEC, CASCADIA, REPUBLIC OF TEXAS, SECOND VERMONT REPUBLIC, etc. etc.

Jim said...

sev·er·al·ty -- Think of land, your part being severed from a larger amount owned by another or formerly co-owned by you and others, original ownership of which goes back to the state, before a succession of states, and finally to GOD.
Very seldom do we combine lands under one title, mostly we divide up (sever).

Okay, the Amoeba, what do you have against Texas? Our governor has suggested we might leave the U.S. and go back to being our own nation again. A lot agree with him.
..

pia said...

Lately I have been feeling a bit not clever and came this morning before anybody commented and had a minor melt down

I can kind of imagine South Carolina being a severalty--between Sanford and Gramm who I of course adore, we march to no known drum

Thank you for that wonderful comment Doug. You will always be my dawg in shining coat who rescued me before I knew that rad rightists could swarm down on a person and believed they had the right to stifle speech

I was beyond shocked that night and probably a bit tipsy as I had been out. It was my last night in the next two years that felt normal--until I came home and saw the comments

actonbell said...

Sounds like a neologism to me, Doug.

TLP said...

Acton! (Tee hee)

You had that one comin' Dougie boy.

quilly said...

According to the dictionary of my childhood:

SEVERALTY, n. the line of tape down the middle of the bedroom between my half and my cousin Patty's half.

word verifier: sharit [How does it always know?]

cooper said...

First it's that multi unit building owned and operated by an absentee landlord, then it;s your condo.

Doug said...

Ironic, isn't it, TLP?

Haha, Ariel! Bierce lists them is God, Gold, Mob and Dog, by the way.

Northern California, too, Amoeba. Now would be the time.

Jim, I think no-one in the other 49 states hold Texas' secessionism against it.

Pia, a toast to your five years.

It was once, Actonbell.

TLP, always a pleasure to get what's due.

Quilly, my childhood bedroom had a vertical and horizontal divider for three of us.

Coop, congratulations?

Flip 2.0 said...

How odd.

Doug said...

That's a clever pun, Flip.

Flip 2.0 said...

Oddly, we're still clever friends whether Doug Pascover likes it or not.

Minka said...

severalty,n.
a beheading and shortened IM.

"sever all, thank you!"

weirsdo said...

Fast forward we, from Bierce unto our times,
'Midst war and crisis, and our warming climes,
The Indian, now sov'reign o'er his lands,
Casinos opens, far from desert sands,
Ushers in the white man and his money,
And turns the sin of greed to milk and honey.