Geomaunt and Teraphim.

I’m reading Steiner’s After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation — I haven’t quite figured out what he’s up to, but then I’m not very far into it — and I wanted to quote part of his combined exegesis and demolition of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “Angelica Rescued from the Sea-monster” (available, along with a small image of the Ingres painting it describes, here — scroll down to 5), which I enjoyed:

What is going on in Rossetti’s reproduction? What, except a search for rhyme, informs ‘The evil length of body chafes at fault’? In what way does Ingres’s nude, so firmly rounded in pictorial treatment, so neo-classically modelled, ‘trail’ her limbs? Hell-spurge is odd. Applied to a common genus of plants, the word may, figuratively, stand for any kind of ‘shoot’ or ‘sprout’. One suspects that the present instance resulted from a tonal-visual over­lap with surge. In the 1870 edition of the Poems, the phrase becomes Hell-birth. Geomaunt and teraphim make a bizarre pair. The O.E.D. gives Rossetti’s sonnet as reference for ‘geomant’ or ‘geomaunt’, one skilled in ‘geomancy’, the art of divining the future by observing terrestrial shapes or the ciphers drawn when handfuls of earth are scattered (geomancy occurs in Büchner’s Woyzeck when the tor­mented Woyzeck sees a hideous future writ in the shapes of moss and fungi). Rossetti’s source for this occult term may well have been its appearance in Dante:

quando i geomanti lor maggior fortuna
  veggiono in oriente, innanzi all’ alba,
  surger per via che poco le sta bruna. . .
          (Purgatorio, XIX. 4-6)

The occurrence of surger so close to geomanti makes it likely that a remembrance of Dante in fact underlies this part of Rossetti’s sonnet and may be more immediate to it than Ingres’s painting. Teraphim is, of course, Hebrew and figures as such in the Authorized Version. It signifies both ‘small idols’ and such idols used as means of divi­nation. It has a markedly heathen ring and Milton used the word with solemn reprobation in his Prelatical Episcopacy of 1641. What does either noun have to do with a sea-monster, especially with the rather pathetic marine beast at the bottom right of Ingres’s compo­sition? If anything, these sonorous rarities are ‘of the earth, earthy’. … The impertinent grandeur of ‘Hell-spurge of geomaunt and teraphim’ only aggravates the offence of nullity. ‘Vexed at its base’, with the exact, Latinate control of the verb, is the one redeeming item.

I’m posting it mainly for the wonderful words geomaunt and teraphim, as well as Steiner’s phrase “The impertinent grandeur of ‘Hell-spurge of geomaunt and teraphim'”; the OED has both geomant (“< Italian geomante (a1319 in Dante) < post-classical Latin geomantis (5th cent.) < ancient Greek γεω- geo- comb. form + μάντις prophet, diviner (see mantic adj.). Compare German Geomant,” first citation 1802 H. Boyd tr. Dante Purgatorio xix, in Divina Commedia II. 239 Now draws the Geomant his magic ring On the dark ground) and teraphim (“< ecclesiastical Latin theraphim (Vulgate), Greek θεραϕίν (Septuagint), < Hebrew th’rāphīm, or Aramaic –īn,” going back to the 14th century). There are two spurge entries, “One or other of several species of plants belonging to the extensive genus Euphorbia, many of which are characterized by an acrid milky juice possessing purgative or medicinal properties” and “A shoot or sprout”; the latter has only one citation (630 R. Brathwait Eng. Gentleman 138 Cabbages of such huge proportion, as the very leaves thereof (so largely extended were the spurges) might..give shadow to five hundred men), but it makes more sense here than the vegetable meaning. Unless, of course, Steiner is right that it’s just an echo of Dante with no particular definable sense.

Comments

  1. Purge the Spurge is the name of the local campaign against an invasive species. Терафим is weirdly used mostly to hint at Satanic significance of Lenin’s corpse

  2. That is very weird indeed!

  3. Dmitry Pruss says:

    Probably because Semitic is equated with Sinister. But we know that Lenin was a mushroom, right

  4. Right. (The reference, for those not familiar with it.)

  5. I have no idea what was in Rossetti’s mind when he wrote that line, but looking at it through a punning Finnegans Wake type lens, “teraphim” there is great! It’s an awful lot like “terrapin”, but also with echoes of Greek “teras” = monster and Latin “terra” = earth (which would kind of go with the geomancy), so overall, whether those puns were consciously intended or not, the insane word choice worked out pretty well IMHO, whatever Steiner may have thought.

  6. Stu Clayton says:

    One big difference between Steiner and lesser mortals is that he can sustain the amusing free-associative jaw-jaw for the length of a book. Many falter after two chapters, when the tease turns into hectoring, and the noise of the hidden agenda machinery increasingly drowns out everything else.

  7. I am reminded of HP Lovecraft’s night-gaunts by some of this. A type of being that was his own unique creation.

    According to Genesis 31, Rachel takes the teraphim belonging to her father Laban when her husband Jacob escapes. She hides them in a saddle bag and sits on them when Laban comes looking for them, and claims that she cannot get up because she is menstruating.

    And also:

    According to Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Teraphim were made from the heads of slaughtered first born male adult humans, shaved, salted, spiced, with a golden plate placed under the tongue, and magic words engraved upon the plate; it was believed that the Teraphim, mounted on the wall, would talk to people. Similarly explanations are cited in the writings of Eleazar of Worms and Tobiah ben Eliezer.

    During the excavation of Jericho by Kathleen Kenyon, evidence of the use of human skulls as cult objects was uncovered, lending credence to the Rabbinical conjecture. The implied size and the fact that Michal could pretend that one was David, has led to the Rabbinical conjecture that they were heads, possibly mummified human heads.

    But is this information too recent to influence Rosetti?

    (References Wikipedia)

  8. Wow. Teraphim do sound downright Lovecraftian.

  9. David Eddyshaw says:

    Geomaunt and Teraphim are (obviously) a legal firm. They almost certainly do keep unspeakable secrets.

  10. Hellspurge, Geomaunt, and Teraphim, attorneys at law. “I’m sorry, Mr. Hellspurge is out, would you like to speak to Ms. Geomaunt?”

  11. John Cowan says:

    Hated rivals of the firm Sue, Grabbit, and Runne. I remember in a novel a lawyer being named “Donald Runne”, but his firm is never mentioned by name. I’m still wondering (slightly).

  12. Don’t forget their mutual rivals Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe.

  13. John Cowan says:

    Lenin was a mushroom

    And a mushroom, как известно, is someone kept in the dark and fed on bullshit.

    And more stuff designed to hopefully keep Automattic happy.

  14. Teraphim is currently believed to be a loanword from Hittite tarpi-š translated as Akkadian šēdu ‘spirit, demon’. Since the Hittite doesn’t have an obvious etymology, they could both be from some common substratum.

  15. Christopher Henrich says:

    It occurs to me that “spurge” in “hell-spurge” is possibly a combination of “surge” and “spurt.”

  16. Owlmirror says:

    Probably because Semitic is equated with Sinister. But we know that Lenin was a mushroom, right

    That reminded me of something I seem to recall seeing on BoingBoing… Here it is. Der Giftpilz. The first one has Ukranian (per GT) text. Sigh.

    https://boingboing.net/2016/09/20/nazi-who-originated-donald-tru.html

    https://boingboing.net/2006/09/12/worlds-creepiest-kid.html

    I really have to wonder if Kuryokhin was aware of that when he came up with the idea.

  17. John Cowan says:

    Spurge as a verb means purify, ultimately from expurgare. The juice of the plant is indeed a purgative.

  18. Owlmirror says:

    Painting referenced above is here. I see that it was painted in a very brownish palette.

    The text of the sonnet has a link for “geomaunt and terephim”, which gives a slightly differently explanation from the above:

    Geomaunt: Usually spelled “geomant,” from the Italian geomante, meaning an occult philosophy of divination by points and circles made on the earth.

    Which makes me think of the final moments of Archimedes. Did the Roman soldier think that Archimedes was doing magic rather than (or in addition to) math?

  19. J.W. Brewer says:

    Any connection other than a chance rhyme (and maybe the rhyme isn’t as clear in Hebrew, for all I know) between teraphim and seraphim?

  20. Stu Clayton says:

    # Some say, compar’d to Bononcini
    That Mynheer Handel’s but a Ninny
    Others aver, that he to Handel
    Is scarcely fit to hold a Candle
    Strange all this Difference should be
    ‘Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee![3] #

  21. John Cowan says:

    Possibly: about all we have is Plutarch, who admits he doesn’t know the true story either:

    But nothing afflicted Marcellus [the Roman general] so much as the death of Archimedes, who was then, as fate would have it, intent upon working out some problem by a diagram, and having fixed his mind alike and his eyes upon the subject of his speculation, he never noticed the incursion of the Romans, nor that the city was taken.

    In this transport of study and contemplation, a soldier, unexpectedly coming up to him, commanded him to follow to Marcellus; which he declining to do before he had worked out his problem to a demonstration, the soldier, enraged, drew his sword and ran him through. Others write that a Roman soldier, running upon him with a drawn sword, offered to kill him; and that Archimedes, looking back, earnestly besought him to hold his hand a little while, that he might not leave what he was then at work upon inconclusive and imperfect; but the soldier, nothing moved by his entreaty, instantly killed him. Others again relate that, as Archimedes was carrying to Marcellus mathematical instruments, dials, spheres, and angles, by which the magnitude of the sun might be measured to the sight, some soldiers seeing him, and thinking that he carried gold in a vessel, slew him.

    Certain it is that his death was very afflicting to Marcellus; and that Marcellus ever after regarded him that killed him as a murderer; and that he sought for [Archimedes’] kindred and honoured them with signal favours.

    All of these are fairly plausible. Archimedes had certainly prolonged the siege with his “engines”, even if he was not personally responsible for their construction or use, and soldiers hate people like that, as Mary Renault tells us in The Mask of Apollo (her tragic actor Nikeratos is partying with the guards keeping Plato under house arrest in hopes that they will get drunk enough that he and Thettalos can slip past):

    There had been that Phyton, the general who had wasted everyone’s time by holding out for months at the siege of Rhegium [by Syracuse], till everyone inside was skin and bone, the women not worth having nor the men worth selling. Phyton had been hung all day from the top of a siege tower, where the news was shouted up to him that they had just drowned his son. This he took as good news, which spoiled the joke; but when he was taken down, they whipped him through the streets, where each man could suit his fancy.

    At this the Roman [mercenary], who had not said much until now, remarked that he had been there, and had seen no sport in it; the man was a good soldier, and bore it, one could only say, as if he had been a Roman. He himself and his mates had decided to put a stop to it by rushing the punishment squad and getting Phyton away. But they had done too much shouting first, so the squad had settled the matter by throwing him into the sea to find his son. There was some argument about this, but the Roman remained obstinate.

  22. David Marjanović says:

    Which makes me think of the final moments of Archimedes. Did the Roman soldier think that Archimedes was doing magic rather than (or in addition to) math?

    Like a Pythagorean?

  23. I used to like drawing pentagrams (star inside circle). One time, when I was eight or nine, I was doing it in chalk on the sidewalk, and my mother got angry and made me stop. “Don’t you know what that means?” she asked me. (It was the ’80s.) I was ready with a response though. I told her it was the symbol of the ancient Pythagorean order of mathematicians and music theorists. She just glared at me, then let the matter drop, knowing perfectly well that I knew that wasn’t what she meant, and I knew that she knew, etc. My mother took a great deal of pride in the times when I, as a child, would best other adults in battles of wits, but she usually got angry when my skills were turned against her. This was a rare incident when she just accepted she had been outwitted and moved on.

  24. Owlmirror says:

    Hellspurge, Geomaunt, and Teraphim, attorneys at law.

    For some reason, I want to give them first names. The first one I thought of was Archimedes Geomaunt, who no doubt specializes in estate and property divisions and borders and such. Then Catharsis Hellspurge (disgorgements), and Golgotha Teraphim (wills, testaments ,etc).

    “Huh. How did you all meet?”

    “Oh, we all were in a particular specialty course called ‘Making Nominative Determinism Work for You and Your Firm’. The instructor was named A. Didact, interestingly enough.”

  25. David Eddyshaw says:

    Clotho Hellspurge, Lachesis Geomaunt, Atropos Teraphim.

    (Weird) sisterhood is powerful. And those ingredients don’t buy themselves: you need a revenue stream, ladies.

  26. January First-of-May says:

    I used to like drawing pentagrams (star inside circle).

    That’s pentacles, I believe. A pentagram is just the star.

    I used to like drawing actual pentagrams, until I accidentally drew one upside down, and my mother noticed (or maybe she just happened to see it upside down – I don’t recall exactly).
    So I decided to switch to seven-pointed stars (heptagrams, I guess), which did not have any meaning that I knew of.

  27. John Cowan says:

    I used to like drawing octagrams.

  28. @January First-of-May: Pentagram and pentacle are synonyms. There are sources that claim one is with the circle, one without, but there is no consistency about which is which. I use pentagrams for the star in the circle, since that was what I learned as a kid.

  29. Owlmirror says:

    The OED has the etymology that I expected:

    Middle French pentacle talisman, most often in the form of a five-pointed star (a1555; French pentacle (now hist.)) and its etymon post-classical Latin pentaculum (1531 in the passage translated in quot. 1569 at main sense) < penta- penta- comb. form + -culum -culum suffix. Compare Italian pentacolo , pentaculo five-pointed star (1483). Compare pentangle n.

    But I had to check that, because Wiktionary had a much more surprising claim:

    From Middle French pentacle, from Old French pentacol, from pent (“hangs”), a (“from”), and col (“neck”), thus “hangs from neck”.

    French Wiktionary itself has the expected: “Emprunt au latin pentaculum, composé de penta- et de -culum

    I think someone has been up to shenanigans in the English version of the page. “Pent-a-col”! What next, “pend-a-cul”?

  30. John Cowan says:

    The author of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” spells it pentaungle, clearly showing the influence of folk ate-a-mology.

  31. Owlmirror says:

    Non pentAngli, sed pentAngeli

  32. So are there examples of parallels with “geomaunt”? Has anyone ever written about necromaunts or spodomaunts or aeromaunts?

  33. Someone should definitely write about necromaunts.

  34. John Cowan says:

    Non pentAngli, sed pentAngeli

    Well, there are Echinaster sepositus starfish in the English Channel, which is their northern limit — but only on the French side.

  35. Someone should definitely write about necromaunts.

    Someone has!
    “The Death-Wake, or Lunacy; a Necromaunt in Three Cimeras”
    https://www.amazon.com/Death-Wake-Lunacy-Necromaunt-Three-Cimeras/dp/1166956296

    (Cimeras also given as Chimeras in the text)

    It is the story, in Poe-type couplets, of a monk who goes mad and wanders around the place with the corpse of the woman he loves. It looks a bit much for a casual read.

    The author, an Edinburgh lawyer called Thomas Stoddart, wrote several other books, all of which were about angling. The Death-Wake seems to have been a bit of a departure for him.

  36. What a great find! I wonder why “necromaunt” isn’t in the OED? They didn’t used to scruple about including hapaxes, and this is in an actual title.

  37. Owlmirror says:

    As “The Death-Wake, or Lunacy; a Necromaunt in Three Cimeras” is a book written in the 19th century, it is also available from Gutenberg and the Internet Archive.

    I have to wonder if Thomas Tod Stoddart learned German, and decided that nominative determinism meant that he had to write a book about death (or Death) because of his middle name.

  38. I suppose all his books were about death, albeit most of them about the death of fish.

    But he isn’t using “Necromaunt” as a synonym for “necromancer”, though, as far as I can tell. The book isn’t about a necromaunt, it is a necromaunt.

    Whatever that is.

    It may be a hapax he invented combining “necro” and “romaunt”, an antique variant of “romance” (used by among others Stoddard’s contemporary Elizabeth Barret Browning).

  39. John Cowan says:

    Lewis Carroll’s “Novelty and Romancement”, wherein our immensely over-educated narrator discovers a dealer in the latter, and what happened after.

  40. A delightful piece, whose reproduction is only trivially and momentarily spoiled by the OCR error “drain” for “dram.”

  41. The Latin version would be Lord Dunsany’s “Bureau d’Echange des Maux” revealed as an office for apple-swapping.

  42. Totally off topic, but the mention of Teraphim made me think of the online book “Unsong” ( http://unsongbook.com/ ) . I am curious if anyone here read it. It has Kabbalah, William Blake, a demon army invading Russia, the Lubavitcher Rebbe making a golem out of the Statue of Liberty to fight the Devil and more…

    “People discovered the first few Names of God through deep understanding of Torah, through silent prayer and meditation, or even through direct revelation from angels. But American capitalism took one look at prophetic inspiration and decided it lacked a certain ability to be forced upon an army of low-paid interchangeable drones. Thus the modern method: hire people at minimum wage to chant all the words that might be Names of God, and see whether one of them starts glowing with holy light or summoning an angelic host to do their bidding. If so, copyright the Name and make a fortune.”

  43. Owlmirror says:

    But he isn’t using “Necromaunt” as a synonym for “necromancer”, though, as far as I can tell. The book isn’t about a necromaunt, it is a necromaunt.

    I think the book is indeed about a necromaunt, but in the most classically-aware sense of the underlying terms.

    A mantis is a diviner, but the etymology is “person inspired by a divine frenzy”; cognate with mania. So the mad monk’s madness could be said to be a divine frenzy, brought on by the death of his beloved; the death-lunacy is the necro-maunt.

    I note that more than a few stanzas refer to the moon. The lunar sense of “lunacy” seems to have been foremost in his mind, and the moon may be the goddess whose divinity inspired the frenzy.

    Beautiful Lunacy! that shapest flight
    For love to blessed bowers of delight,
    And buildest holy monarchies within
    The fancy, till the very heart is queen
    Of all her golden wishes. Lunacy!
    Thou empress of the passions! though they be
    A sister group of wild, unearthly forms,
    Like lightnings playing in their home of storms!
    I see thee, striking at the silver strings
    Of the pure heart, and holy music springs
    Before thy touch, in many a solemn strain,
    Like that of sea-waves rolling from the main!

    The portmanteau you suggest could also have been involved; there’s no reason why not.

  44. Owlmirror says:

    I have not read Unsong, but I have read Seventy-Two Letters, by Ted Chiang.

    I see that “Unsong” has an appropriate 72 chapters.

  45. David Marjanović says:

    “Nothing is ever a coincidence.”

  46. Trond Engen says:

    John C. linked to Unsong last year or so. I read most of it in a binge, but fell off because real life intervened and never got back into it. Time to pick up, surely.

  47. And it touches on St. Marx, which was talked about here recently because nothing is ever a coincidence 🙂

    “The Soviets were not impressed. Not a rabbi, barely even a believer, how did he think he was going to reconcile Marx and the kabbalah?

    “Reconcile?” asked Singer. “Marx is already the kabbalah. Isn’t it obvious?”

    Gebron and Eleazar define kabbalah as hidden unity made manifest through the invocation of symbols and angels. But unity is communion, and symbols are marks on a piece of paper. So “unity made manifest by symbols and angels” equals “Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels”. The supposed atheism of Communists was a sham; after all, did they not regard Marx with a devotion almost equivalent to worship? But the name Karl Marx comes from Germanic “Carl”, meaning “man”, and “Marx”, coming from Latin “Marcus”, itself from the older Latin “Martius”, meaning “of Mars” or “of war”. So the name “Karl Marx” means “man of war”. But Exodus 15:3 says “The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His Name.” The LORD is His Name, indeed. Every tribute the Soviets had given Marx, they were praising God without knowing it.

    (and for that matter, the kabbalistic Avgad cipher decodes “Lenin” into “Moses”. This is not a coincidence because nothing is ever a coincidence.)”

  48. Rodger C says:

    the kabbalistic Avgad cipher

    Atbash?

  49. From Wikipedia:

    There are three simple forms of Temurah:

    Atbash: Replacing the first letter with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the second with the next-to-last, and so on.
    a=z, b=y, c=x, etc.
    Avgad: Replacing each letter with the preceding letter.
    a=b, b=c, c=d
    Albam: Replacing the first letter of the alphabet with the twelfth, the second with the thirteenth, and so on.
    a=l, b=m, c=n, etc.

  50. Owlmirror says:

    the kabbalistic Avgad cipher decodes “Lenin” into “Moses”

    Hm. If you write Lamed-Nun-Nun, each letter does shift forward to Mem-Samekh-Samekh . . . which is not how anyone who knows Hebrew would write “Moshe” (Mem-Shin-He), but whatevs.

    And if you pretend that “e” is its Phoenician ancestor “He”, you can sort of make the first vowel “work” — Lamed-He-Nun-Nun -> Mem-Vav-Samekh-Samekh, and now you pretend that the Vav/Waw is read as a Hebrew mater lectionis for a holam, you can get “o” out of that, hwhwhw.

    But I can’t get the second vowel in the names to work with this. Either “i” as “Yod” would shift forward to “Kaf” as “k”, or “e” as “He” shifts backwards to “Dalet” as “d”.

    Wait. Could it be possible that someone was up to shenanigans!?!?

    =-==============-===============-=

    Browsing the author’s notes to Unsong, I saw that one of the comments mentions:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiocular_O

    Which I post here for the sheer bogglement of anyone interested. I don’t dare post the character itself; I’m sure the Akismet filter will have a screaming meltdown.

  51. “Multiocular O (ꙮ) is a rare exotic glyph variant of the Cyrillic letter O.” Whoa!

  52. I am appropriately boggled. “When you write the word for “eye” in the plural, you have to put two little dots in the O to look like a pair of eyes”.
    Presumably the Russian for “nostril” doesn’t have an O in it or they’d do the same there?

  53. Owlmirror says:

    Searching the Unsongbook site, I see that the “Singer” in the the bit quoted by e-k is Isaac Bashevis.

    But I can’t get the second vowel in the names to work with this. Either “i” as “Yod” would shift forward to “Kaf” as “k”, or “e” as “He” shifts backwards to “Dalet” as “d”.

    Given the weaponized free-form free-association wordplay in the bit quoted, I suspect that the “proper” response to this sort of situation is to say “So, He is a window, and Dalet is a door. What opens either of them? A hand; a Yod.”

    Of course, I’m also tempted to write something like: Take the name Moses. Now, the first “s” can be a “Sin”; the second can be a “Sav” (Ashkenaz pronunciation of Tav without dagesh), the “o” can be its ancient ancestor “Ayin”. Say it with a Yiddish accent, and it’s . . . meises! Bubbemeises! . . . Stories from our ancestors!

  54. “This glyph variant can be found in certain manuscripts in the Old Church Slavonic phrase серафими многоꙮчитїи (serafimi mnogoočitii, ‘many-eyed seraphim’).”

  55. Owlmirror says:

    Presumably the Russian for “nostril” doesn’t have an O in it or they’d do the same there?

    . . . why would you want nostrils staring at you?

  56. Owlmirror says:

    The Wiki page for multiocular O says that the phrase “many-eyed seraphim” appears in a book of Psalms, but it must have been commentary, because the only book of the bible that actually describes seraphim as having many eyes is Revelation (verse 4:8).

  57. Google tells me that the Church Slavonic phrase occurs in the “Слово святаго отца Ефрема о второмъ пришествіи господни” in the 14th-century Измарагд (Izmaragd); hopefully you can see it here:

  58. Ah, and you can see the actual many-eyed O in a manuscript here:
    http://www.folomade.ru/page-nemnogo-tserkovnoslavyanskoi-kalligrafii

  59. The author, an Edinburgh lawyer called Thomas Stoddart, wrote several other books, all of which were about angling.

    Four, to be precise,* so maybe “The Death-wake, Or, Lunacy: A Necromaunt in Three Chimeras” is the Pent-Angle.

    *”The Art of Angling”, “The Angler’s Companion”, “Angling Reminiscences”, and “An Angler’s Rambles and Angling Songs”

  60. Four, to be precise,* so maybe “The Death-wake, Or, Lunacy: A Necromaunt in Three Chimeras” is the Pent-Angle.

    Well played!

  61. Owlmirror says:

    The phrase is linked to on the Wikipedia page sources for Multiocular O, although it shows the entire page (look on the bottom left of the double page image) rather than the clipped image linked to above. It’s also on page 46 of the linked PDF ( “Proposal to encode additional Cyrillic characters in the BMP of the UCS”), where it’s clearly a black-and-white image of the same thing. It certainly looks like every source image is the same page in the same book.

    So . . . one scribe went a little eye-happy a few centuries ago this one time, and now we have a new Cyrillic glyph? Eh, why not?

    I note that the original scribed character had a kabbalistically significant 10 eyes (3 rows with 3 eyes-4 eyes-3 eyes), and the actual Unicode glyph is a somewhat reduced but still kabbalistically significant 7 eyes (3 rows with 2 eyes-3 eyes-2 eyes). Hm.

  62. That’s cheating.

  63. David Marjanović says:

    A character indistinguishable from the binocular O has in fact* been proposed as the IPA symbol for the ingressive uvular trill.

    * In an April 1st post on a blog.

  64. Oh, for a Unicode character for LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH DOWNWARD SIDEWAYS LOOKING PUPILS, as in signs saying “LOOK”.

  65. Stu Clayton says:

    How about an eyes O in which the pupils track you as you read ?

  66. And if you lean in too close, they cross.

  67. Rodger C says:

    Terry Pratchett, thou shouldst be living at this hour, to write of many-nostriled angels.

  68. Owlmirror says:

    [I wonder if these will post. They are in the Latin section of my character map, after all. Will Akismet decree that they not be seen anyway?]

    ʘ [U+0298 LATIN LETTER BILABIAL CLICK]
    Ꝏ [U+A74E LATIN CAPITAL LETTER OO]
    Ꝋ [U+A74A LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH LONG STROKE OVERLAY]
    Ꜿ [U+A73E LATIN CAPITAL LETTER REVERSED C WITH DOT]

    !LʘʘK!
    LꝎK!
    LꝊꝊKing at nothing. See no evil.
    Here’s LꜾꜾking at Ꝏ.

  69. Owlmirror says:

    LO⃘O⃘K!

    That’s [U+004F LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O] and [U+20D8 COMBINING RING OVERLAY].

    Combining characters are in the “Inherited” section of the character map. So . . . maybe OK?

    EDIT: Checking on my phone, I see that the overlay does not look right. So I guess depending on your installed fonts, it either looks like eyes looking down-and-sideways, or like . . . something else; the rings are to the right of the Os; the first one overlaps both. Bah.

  70. LO⃙O⃙K!

    (U+20D9, COMBINING CLOCKWISE RING OVERLAY)

    It’s the wrong expression. It looks like an eye roll behind glasses.

  71. David Marjanović says:

    Font problem – the overlays don’t overlay on my end.

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