Content-Type: text/shitpost


Subject: Ululation and Evoation
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!computer​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2018-07-25T16:29:31
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.ulululooo
Message-ID: <ccc28f40eeb09ead@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Today a co-worker mentioned the word “euouae”, which are a certain type of hymnal cadence. I thought I knew what this was but I was mistaken. I had it mixed up with “evoe”, which is the frenzied cry of the maenads (from Greek εὐοῖ). I first encountered this word in Zelazny's Doorways in the Sand, of all places. The protagonist is at a bacchanal party, also attended by the requisite donkey, and:

A sleepy-eyed girl seated near the hanging beads suddenly sprang to her feet, tearing at her hair and blouse buttons, crying, "Evoe! Evoe!" the while.

The girl does not appear again, but the donkey is a plot point. If there is a canonical name for Silenus’ donkey, I do not know it.

Similar but not related is “ululation”, which is just what it sounds like, a long wavering howl. This onomotopoeic word is very old. It is not, however, related to uvula, which is Latin for “little grape”.

To me “ululate” suggests that there ought also to be “ululatrix” and perhaps also “ululatorium”. If I wrote a novel it would be full of this sort of nonsense.