Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I love wikipedia: Hoist by his own Petard edition

I love wikipedia, for so many reasons. I have, in my Firefox browser, a direct Wikipedia search box, which sees frequent use. Such was the case when hemisphire recently accused me of being "Hoist by my own Petard." Not only had I never heard the phrase (except in passing in Hamlet, apparently), but I had no idea what was being talked about. Awesome. Never will I watch The Two Towers again without thinking about petards during the orc torchrunner part at Helm's Deep.

I didn't experience the full-on xkcd-wikipedia effect, but I did end up on the Fougasse page, where I learned there was a British Petroleum Warfare Department in WWII, and read an interesting account of early anti-personnel fougasse usage in the Crimean war.

5 comments:

Davey said...

If I was forced to guess what the phrase "Hoist in his own petard" (a phrase I have never used but have heard), I would have guessed that a Petard was some sort of medieval clothing by which someone was accidentally hoisted to their own embarrassment, and the humorous enjoyment of the peasants.

Shows what I know.

But I want to know why little h thought you were 'harmed in your plan to harm someone else'.

dave said...

Well, Davey, the specific example isn't all that exciting, so suffice it to say I've always got my Machiavellian machinations going, and once in a while my Petard gets all hoisty.

Oddysey said...

That's excellent. I'm going to have to actually start using that phrase now.

Also: Got to Abulafia through the link in the sidebar of Jeff's Gaming Blog. And just now got round to realizing there were more comments on that post. Oops.

Disco Mom said...

Sorry, before anyone goes further let's clarify the phrase is "hoist by his own petard". At first I was thinking Trekky because petard sounds kinda like Picard, but I was confused, thinking does dave have yet another side I didn't know about? Glad to see we're still all gamey and Shakespearey and LoTRy. I am dying to use this phrase - maybe I'll try to set something up just so I can tell about it and use the phrase. It basically means backfire, right?

dave said...

Oh, good call on the clarification, K-cash. Changing the title.