Book:Men at Arms/Annotations

From Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Men at Arms Annotations

The name of Edward d'Eath may be a parody of Edward Heath, a British prime minister. But De'Ath (pronounced "dee-ath") does exist as a rare English surname; the origin of it isn't very clear.

The recruitment song (p313/238) seems familiar.

To what, pray? --Knmatt 20:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I think it has an echo of the traditional Irish song "The Recruiting Sergeant", which dates (at least in the form used by the Pogues) from 1916. The original song starts something like

As I was walking down the road

A feelin' fine and dandy-oh,

A recruiting sergeant came up to me

And said "You'll look fine in khaki-oh"...

and ends

Come rain or hail or wind or snow,

I'm not going out to Flanders-oh,

There's fighting in Dublin to be done,

Let your sergeants and your commanders go!

Let English men fight English wars,

Cos near every time you start them all,

And wishing the sergeant a very good night,

There and then we parted right!

The Ankh-Morpork version lacks the republican sentiment, the principled refusal to enlist, and indeed the scan and rhyme and rhythm of the original, and reduces the arguments to "enlist or you get your goohulog heads kicked in". According to my old English Lit teacher, this is a fine example of "bathetis"....--AgProv 22:11, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

According to the APF v9.0[1], it is based off a song called Ratcliffe Highway.--AutisticMajor 03:47, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

p.182 (Harper Fiction mass market paperback): Superconductivity! Dunno if this should be an annotation (maybe it's mentioned in one of the Science of Discworld books), but Roundworld superconductivity does not work that way. Superconductivity is a method by which the electrical resistance for some substance is reduced to approximately zero. Silicon is a semiconductor, and while many good superconductors are also semiconductors, silicon is not a superconductor. It requires high levels of impurity to get silicon to become a superconductor at a fraction of a degree from absolute zero, and the warmest superconductor is still a mercury barium ceramic at -138 Celsius. It's also not the sort of thing that gets better as you get colder. It's either full-on superconductor or normal conductivity. The mechanism isn't clear, but the last theory I remember, phonons, requires perfect coherence, and any non-coherent electrons will ruin the effect.superlusertc 2010 November 13, 11:21 (UTC)

Cuddy's tuition of Detritus in basic mathematics is very reminiscent of musical comedian Tom Lehrer's exposition of the New Math in base eight...[2] Detritus is being taught to count in Base eight form, using twos, fours and eights. - I've heard it said that Detritus, having a silicon brain, is better at this form of maths not because it's base eight, but because it's binary.

Corgi Paperback page 112, page 334' I got the power, me... Gaspode's warning to Big Fido echoes a chart-topping song from 1991, a year or two before publication of Men at Arms. I Got the Power was a worldwide hit for the group Snap.

Black Roger and Butch, the Canine Guild enforcers, sound and act suspiciously like the demons Hastur and Ligur in Good Omens.

When Lord Vetinari visits Leonard of Quirm to tell him of the Gonne's escape, Vetinari picks up Leonard's cartoons and comment that "This is a good one of the little boy with his kite stuck in a tree" ... Possibly a reference to Charlie Brown?