Cory uses the phrase ‘mind-croggling’ to describe Ray Kurzweil’s writing. I’ve used the phrase repeatedly over the years. It appears all over the web. But it’s not Real English. Of course, that’s never stopped me before.
Will ‘mind-croggling’ eventually become a part of the language, or can it be argued that it already is?

mind-crog·gling (mndcrglng)
adj. Informal
Intellectually or emotionally overwhelming: “a mind-croggling bazaar of talking mattresses and improbability generators”.

The first time I recall ever seeing the phrase was in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy books. I suspect he just made it up, on the fly, as a natural descriptor for the next step beyond being boggled.
I remember with great pleasure sitting on the beach beside the cold cold lake one summer, out back of the house, in my hometown, reading and re-reading a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, laughing out loud. One of the first long pieces of writing I ever did, back in my early teens, was in emulation of the gymnastic language and unbridled silliness of the Guide. I’ve gone back to those books every couple of years since, and they’re still dear to my heart.
I loved that Douglas Adams. He had a huge influence in molding the WonderChickonian sense of humour. I guess that he might have preferred more substantial legacies than these, but maybe they’ll do just fine.

Thoughts That, If Not Deep, Are At Least Wide

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. “croggled” is a long-time fannish term:
    references in print fanzines dating back to 1960s.

  2. Well smack my butt and call me hoopy! And I thought was the king of the scientifiction fanboys when I was a teenager. Thanks Anita.

  3. > WonderChickonian
    I think “WonderChickensian” (analogous to “Dickensian”) is the better term.
    (Which makes me think of _A Sale of Two Titties_ by Darles Chickens.)

  4. …but I wanted it to rhyme with ‘chthonian’, a word I’ve always enjoyed quite a lot, really.

  5. I too, along with a fellow 14 year old and a few others, relentlessly carried on the adventures of the Hitchhiker’s characters for nearly a year on a local BBS – I like to think that somewhere, somehow, someone has an archive of those tales.
    We also had another, completely original, series, called “Irwin the Nerd Messiah,” which, while hilarious and self-parody, was in its beginning chapters, far too close to today’s “trenchcoat misfit shoots school” phenomenon for comfort…

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