Monday, May 14, 2007


URBANITY, n. The kind of civility that urban observers ascribe to dwellers in all cities but New York. Its commonest expression is heard in the words, "I beg your pardon," and it is not consistent with disregard of the rights of others.

The owner of a powder mill
Was musing on a distant hill —
Something his mind foreboded —
When from the cloudless sky there fell
A deviled human kidney! Well,
The man's mill had exploded.
His hat he lifted from his head;
"I beg your pardon, sir," he said;
"I didn't know 'twas loaded."

2007 Update: The fashion of those influenced by vulgar neighbors to defy convention.


Mutha said...

Yeah...I'm not sure it counts for Boston either...that is, not in the places where I hang out.

Mutha said...

Can't believe my luck at being first -- especially since Mutha's Day was yesterday.

I Dive At Night said...

Urbanity: A measure of how basic civility changes relative to the spacing between neighbours.

Anonymous said...

What? New Yorkers not urbane? Why I'm here to tell you that the guy power washing the sidewalk as I was walking by just moments ago actually moved the spray a good six inches away from me as I passed...a fine misting instead of soaking...and the curse words were hidden almost entirely under his breath. That's not urbane enough for you?

Anonymous said...

Urbanity: Exactly the sort of crap that people generally complain they don't have any time for.

Anonymous said...

Urbanity hero worship practiced by those who follow all things Keith Urban.

Anonymous said...

URBAN, n. A prohibition against stuttering and stammering. URBANITY: smooth talkin', Slick. The art, in a crowded place, of putting people in their place without getting the place torched.

Anonymous said...

Urbanity: sophistication...ergo me!

Who frickin' snickered?

Anonymous said...

Urbanity: The ability of cooped up chickens to get along without clucking each other up?

Doug The Una said...

And I hope you had a grand Mutha's day, Mutha.

Well done, Morgan. And true.

That's urbane enough for me, Joel, but that's hardly a standard.

Concisely put, Al.

That would not include me, Quill, but I'll take your word for it.

Amoeba, that's the very art, right there.

Not me, Jenna. I bit my lip.

Neva, that's how you get the feathers flying.

G said...

There's a reason urbanity rhymes with insanity and not civility.

Although I'm not exactly sure why.

Jamie Dawn said...

Is urbanity a real word?
It doesn't sound like one.
If it is, it shouldn't be.
Another word that I think shouldn't be a real word is the word frond.

Minka said...

I am sorry, I have to go off topic...but Gwinnett?
How did you manage to keep that a secret for this long?

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce?

*sits down and re-adjusts her whole belief system*

bet you anything his parents were hobbits of the rural persuasion!

Doug The Una said...

G, it's because princesses from Queens don't recognize assonance when they see it.

Where did you find that, Actonbell? Are you reading on bicycles now?

Forget I mentioned it, Jamie Frond.

Uh, Minka, I can only apologize for the trauma of your discovery. I should have been the one to tell you.

Sar said...

Minka wasn't first today? And no one had to pay dearly for it?! Oh the urbanity of it all!

*wink wink Minka*

Minka said...


I mean how far from Gwyneth is that?

let me tell you how far: like apple from a tree!

and we are back to rural, see how I tied that all in? No? Must be you then!

Anonymous said...


what the word again?

Logophile said...

Minka, it was not his fault, might explain something about his attitude though, eh?

Im from the NW, we dont have any idea what you're talking about, pardon you.

Doug The Una said...

Sar, I have no idea whose body is under which porch in Iceland. That's the problem with blogging: No evidence of crime until someone's hanged.

Minka, very clever. If it helps, Button Gwinnett was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence from Georgia. Not that that's who Bierce was named after, but, you know, at some point that fact needed to be useful and I'll never get a better chance.

Cooper, the word was Coopericity.

Omnipotent Poobah said...

understanding - The belated realization that everyone else is just as screwed up as you.

Omnipotent Poobah said...

Never mind my enter. Right church, wrong pew.

Hobbes said...

A dry wit and a dryer martini.