Pages 283-306

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Contents

☽ - Orin and Joelle

Page 283

C.U.S.P.
Stands for Clean United States Party, i.e. Johnny Gentle's pro-hygiene political platform. In reality, though it was created after Infinite Jest was published, there is an organization called CUSP.

Johnny Gentle
the name of a real musician from the U.K.

O.N.A.N.ism
Onanism is another word for masturbation in the English language

cholera and amoebic-dysentery
Cholera is extreme diarrhea brought on by unsanitary conditions. Amoebic dysentery is also extreme diarrhea, this time brought on by the acquisition of a parasitic infection.

diasporic
scattered; dispersed (from one's homeland)

Endnote 94

Lebensgefährtin
German: female romantic companion (rather, "significant other" or "longtime companion")

Page 284

Palmer Academy
There is a Palmer Academy in Florida, but it's in Haines City, sixty miles east of Tampa.

deafflatusized
uninspired. afflatus is inspiration, divine communication of knowledge, literally to blow upon. (Wikipedia)

ROTC
Reserve Officer Training Corps, which recruits future officers in the U.S. Armed Forces from universities

A.P.
Advanced Placement

Croate
French for "Croat" (Croatian) but probably just a misspelling, OR indicative that the magazine is a French-Québecois publication

Endnote 95

post-Windows DOS
A DOS is a Disk Operating System, the programming by which a computer runs other programs. Microsoft has not issued a new DOS after Windows as of late 2007.

Y.D.A.U.

recompile
Some programs needed to be "compiled" before they run, depending on the computer language in which they're written. Recompiling would be compiling over again.

Page 285

inducement
an incentive

Dodge
A reference to Dodge City, Kansas, to "get out of Dodge" is to disappear because of some kind of perceived or real threat.

Endnote 96

Fredericton, N.B.
Fredericton is the capital of the Canadian province of New Brunswick (N.B.) about 175 miles as the crow flies (much longer if you drive it) from Halifax, Nova Scotia, the nearest "big city" in that part of Canada.

Page 285 (cont'd)

septuagenaric
in one's seventies

patrician
aristocratic

vault the net
It used to be a tradition in tennis for one player to jump ("vault") over the net to congratulate or console his/her opponent after a match.

round-robins
This is a type of tournament in which each player plays every other player once, the winner being the person/team/etc. with the most wins. Compare this to a single-elimination tournament like the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

deck-sneakers
You can see examples here.

Page 286

Lacoste
a French apparel company, known for producing Izod

levantine
from the Near East, particularly Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, or Israel, i.e., the Levant

kohl
a powder used to darken the eyelids

Terriers
Rhett the Boston Terrier is the mascot of Boston University.

plum
an excellent or desirable thing

hiati
the plural of "hiatus"

Blue Cross
an health insurance company

felo de se
Latin for "felony against one's self," this is a term for suicide.

Y.D.P.A.H.

sedulous
diligent or attentive

Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar

Page 287

Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland

jugular
the largest vein in the neck

'Tenebrae Factae Sunt,' sotto v.
Latin for "There Was Darkness," Tenebrae Factae Sunt is a hymn traditionally sung on Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was crucified. "Sotto v." is shorthand for the Italian sotto voce, which means "in a low voice."

Page 288

locusts
Given the noise they're making, Wallace is probably referring to cicadas.

trundle
Used here, it means an impulse that causes something to move.

Salic law
The Salic Law was a legal code of medieval Central Europe. The phrase is sometimes used simply to refer to its best-known tenet: agnatic succession, or the inheritance of the throne only by male heirs.

anthracnose
another name for the plant disease known as canker

PAC
Political Action Committee

florid
flowery in style

trilled r's
as pronounced in a Spanish word such as perro ("dog")
The French trilled r can be uvular (on the back of the tongue) or aveolar (front of the tongue, like the Spanish perro example).

'Politics and the English Language'
You can read Orwell's essay here.

Tactical Phalanx
Normally a military term, this would be a phalanx (from the Latin word for "fingers") or row of soldiers deployed for tactical purposes.

MGM
Militant Grammarians of Massachusetts

tiller
a nautical term for the device attached to a boat's rudder to assist in steering

sinecure
a job requiring little or no work

Page 289

"...had a poster of Bill Tilden in his office..."
which implies that the coach was either gay (as was Tilden) or very old-fashioned, since Tilden's career was far in the past
This is more likely a comment on the coach being terribly out of date - Tilden was considered the world's best tennis player from 1920 - 1934. His sexuality likely does not matter, but he seems to be very attracted to Avril Incandenza (p. 286). (Also of interest is that Bill Tilden was inspiration for a character in Nabokov's Lolita, who was hired to coach the girl without worry that he would seduce her, since he was gay.)

schizoid
here meaning "erratic"

refraction
here referring to the splitting of white light into a spectrum of color

strabismic
having improperly aligned eyes

diffraction
the bending or stretching of waves, assuming light is a wave and not a particle

OCD
Obsessive-Compulsive Disoder

drawn idle little sideways 8's
with his fingers or another body part or fluid??? was there a similar line in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men? a sideways eight is a symbol for infinity

postcoital flanks
Postcoital denotes after sexual intercourse. The flank would be the side of the body between the ribs and hip.

decapitated
beheaded

epithet
a word or phrase applied to a person, often derisively

Page 290

Actaeon Complex
This is not a real psychiatric disorder. Actaeon was a figure from Greek mythology who fell in love with the goddess of the hunt, Artemis, only to anger her and then be changed into a deer, which was then hunted unto death — all of which perhaps suggests an underlying reluctance in the men to pursue Joelle because she might pursue them in return.

phylogenic
regarding the evolution of an organism

ascapartic
A word coined by Wallace, it means gigantic, as Ascapart was a giant depicted in the fiction of, among other people, J.R.R. Tolkien.

elisions and apical lapses
Elisions are the droppings of phonemes from words. Apical refers to sounds made using the tip of the tongue; lapses would be absences of such sounds.

four meters
a little over thirteen feet.

zygomatics
arches on the outer borders of the eyes

HD
high-definition, like a television

pungently
in a way that sharply affects the organs of sense

attar
a perfume extracted from flowers

decocted
to extract the flavor of by boiling

avuncular
characteristic of an uncle

Page 291

strabismic
squinty or improperly aligned eyes

Facsmile
probably a misspelling of "facsimile"

three-meter
almost ten feet

lateral
sideways

mollygag
the exiled Oklahoman football coach appears to combine "lolly-gag" and "molly-coddle"

bona fried
the exiled Oklahoman coach here appears to mean "bona fide"

dope-slaps
a smack to the back of the head, designed to get attention rather than inflict pain; distinct from more familiar "bitch-slap"

adit
entrance or passage

orthopedic
denoting an anomaly in the bones

180-kilo
almost 400 pounds

Special Teams
These are the squads responsible in football for tactics that are neither offensive or defensive, e.g., returning kick-offs, kicking field goals or extra points, and, of course, punting.

femur to tarsus
The femur is the bone running from the hip to the knee — the largest bone in the body. The tarsi (plural of tarsus) are the bones of the foot. In between are the tibia and fibula — the bones of the lower leg — and the patella, or kneecap. All of these were apparently broken.

Page 292

caromed
To carom is to strike and rebound; caromed is the past tense.

CNS
Central Nervous System

Gauloise
a French brand of cigarettes

draconian
Derived from Draco, the 7th century BC first lawgiver of Athens, the word means unusually harsh or severe.

Page 293

SUNY
State University of New York

kick serve
a serve in tennis with so much spin that the ball bounces high and to the left (if right-handed) or right (if left-handed) of the receiver

Rockette
Named for the Rockefeller family and nearby Rockefeller Center, the Rockettes are the Radio City Music Hall-based dancers famous for high kicks.

preternatural
out of the ordinary course or nature

parabola

parabola
a curve; more precisely a conic section formed by cutting a cone with a plane, where the plane is parallel to a line running along the cone's side from the vertex (point) to the circular base; see right

factota
plural for factotum, which is a word for a servant or assistant

herbicide
something that kills plants

Page 294

Schmüberty
Technically speaking, this wouldn't rhyme with "puberty," because an umlaut over a "u" in German produces a high front rounded vowel (as in French tu "you") rather than the long /u/ phoneme.

kill it just by touching
When a player on the punter's team touches the ball while it is still in the field of play, the play is whistled "dead" and the opposing team takes possession at that point

coffin-corner kicks
Usually refers to a punt inside the opponent's 20 yard line that goes out of bounds and thus cannot be returned, as opposed to inside the 20-yard-line punts that remain in the field of play but are touched (killed) by a downfield runner

aegis
sponsorship or auspices; from the Greek for "shield"

bilateral
having two sides

S.T.
Special Teams

wide receiver's number
Punters are typically assigned a uniform with a number between 1 and 19, while wide receivers typically get a number in the 80s, though the NCAA has no hard and fast rules in this regard.

"...it was in its last season of representing an American university..."
Presumably under the constitution of O.N.A.N., Syracuse, N.Y., became part of Canada.

book-long
The "book" length of a punt is not the same as its physical distance. Hal kicked the "baptismal competitive punt" 90 yards in the air, but was only credited with a 40-yard punt. Because the line of scrimmage was Syracuse's 40, and Hal kicked the ball through the end zone, the punt is recorded as 40 yards (the distance from the line of scrimmage to the end zone). The ball would be placed at Syracuse's 20, so the "net" on the punt would only have been 20 yards.

90-yard punt
The record for a punt in both college and professional football is 99 yards. Presumably in each instance the punting team had the ball at its own 1 yard line and the punt, through the air and then with fortuitous bounces, came to rest in the opponent's end zone. Orins's punt is said to have traveled 90 yards in the air, which is a bit beyond the outer limits of what even a top pro can do on his best kicks.

Orangemen
the Syracuse football team's name

Page 295

podiatric
having to do with the foot

USMC
United States Marine Corps

Rolling Thunder's big-bellied Berthas
Rolling Thunder was the bombing campaign on North Vietnam carried out by South Vietnam and the U.S. military between 1965 and 1968. A Bertha is probably just a really big gun, like the famous Big Bertha used by Germany during WWI. More likely Bertha is referring here to large bombs dropped during the Rolling Thunder campaign, though B52s capable of dropping really large bombs were used much more extensively later - in the escalation into Cambodia for example

sousaphone
a tuba developed by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), American composer, for easier carrying with a marching band

extrication
freedom from entanglement

lardy
fat

tête-à-tête
From the French for "head to head," this term denotes a private conversation between two people.

30,0000
This must refer to the attendance for the game at Boston College's Alumni Stadium, which has a capacity of 44,500 (see page 293 for schedule). Nickerson Field at BU has a capacity of less than 10,000 people. BU also played at Rhode Island in Hal's first four weeks, but its field has a capacity of only 5,180.

amniotic
pertaining to the fluid that surrounds a fetus in utero

Page 296

cathedran
Presumably Wallace means "like a cathedral," but this is not a real word. The proper word would be cathedrarian.

Yankee Conference
Ironically, in 1997 (a year after Infinite Jest was published), Boston University dropped its football program.

K-L-RMKI/Forsythia Bowl
This is not a real bowl game, but the letters stand for Ken-L-Ration-Magnavox-Kemper-Insurance Forsythia Bowl.

three subway stops distant
East Cambridge is about ten green-line stops from BU.

fealty
faithfulness, here to a sports team

4WD
four-wheel-drive vehicle

kudzu
a type of climbing vine indigenous to the U.S. South. (Kudzu is hardly 'indigenous' to the U.S. South. It was introduced in the 30s and 40s and is now viewed as an invasive nuisance.)

pointers
a breed of hunting dog

Pyrex
a brand name of heat-resistant glass

turn blue litmus paper red
presumably something highly acidic

star-fated
as opposed to star-crossed, i.e., predestined for disaster, as Romeo and Juliet

Page 297

dailies
Also called "rushes," these are the pieces of raw film recorded during a single day, including cuts, takes, prints, etc.

turtle-headed
implying that Orin's neck is covered entirely but visible, as with a turtleneck sweater

fireman-carrying
carrying a person over one's shoulder

Dixie Baton-Twirling Institute in Oxford MS
Wallace has taken this idea from a short story "Twirling at Ole Miss" by Terry Southern. Oxford, Miss., is the home of "Ole Miss," i.e., the University of Mississippi and is about 60 miles southeast of Memphis, Tenn.

hypertrophied
overgrown anatomically

quadriceps
one of the muscles in front of the thigh

P.T.s
Physical Therapists

thespian
having to do with acting

BTL
the initials of several telecommunications and television companies

Angenieux
a company that produces high-technology optics devices

half-disk-sector
an indication of the amount of digital memory used

#78
This is Orin's jersey number — why he didn't get a changed number is uncertain, as is why it said he had gotten a receiver's number. A number in the 70s would be an offensive or defensive lineman — someone unlikely to have contact with the ball.

mattes
This is shorthand for a matte shot, which is "a shot in which parts of the background and sometimes the foreground are masked so that a different background, foreground, image, etc., can be substituted during printing" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

spectation
watching

Page 298

rheostat
This is "an adjustable resistor so constructed that its resistance may be changed without opening the circuit in which it is connected, thereby controlling the current in the circuit" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

Jiffy Pop
a brand name of home popping corn

Y.W.

rpm
revolutions per minute

Storrow 500
a local nickname for Storrow Drive in Boston

barney
a heavy padded cover for a camera to reduce the amount of noise from the camera's moving parts getting onto the soundtrack

Pilotone blooper
Pilotone is an old brand of film equipment, and a blooper is, according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, "a receiving set that generates from its antenna radio-frequency signals that interfere with other nearby receivers."

auracopia
a Wallace neologism based on "aura" (sound) and "copia" (plenty) and based on cornucopia (horn of plenty)

Delaware
The Yankee Conference, by the way, ceased to exist in 1997.

Y.T.M.P.

U. Vermont and UNH now history
This implies that Vermont and New Hampshire were also annexed to Canada. However, the University of Vermont had not been in the conference since 1974.

four-point stances
with both hands and both feet on the ground

chuff
to blow hard and loudly

stave
to break or crush; Wallace might also mean to ward off or keep away, but the more commmon phrase for that is "stave off".

scrimmage
the scrimmage line, i.e., where the offense currently has the ball

Page 299

a bright noncontact white
Orin's helmet is white because he hasn't been tackled.

pendular 180-arc of Orin's leg
meaning Orin's leg moves the full length of half a circle around the center that is his hip, in a motion similar to that of a pendulum

gluteal
pertaining to the buttocks

November 14th, YDAU - Poor Tony Goes Cold Turkey

Page 299

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Armenian Foundation Library in horrid central Watertown MA
This is probably the same as the Armenian Library and Museum of America. Watertown is a suburb of Boston nine miles west of the city, and it has a very large Armenian population.

Page 300

Equus Reese
Equus is Latin for "horse."

Donegal cap
You can see one here.

cadge
to obtain by begging

Antitoi
French for "against you"

de-mapping
murder

non grata
Latin: not welcome

Aigner accessory
Etienne Aigner is a designer of women's handbags & leather goods.

cop
obtain drugs

rough-trade
homosexual prostitution - trading sexual activity for money or drugs, frequently associated with violence FreeDictionary

Brockton
a city in Massachusetts about 25 miles south of Boston

portents
omens

Fort Point
a section of Boston named for a colonial-era fort of the same name

hepatitis-G
This disease had been identified the same year that Wallace published Infinite Jest. It's unclear whether he was aware of this.

chip
to use enough heroin to stave off withdrawal

wigless-head
Tony is carrying his auburn wig and red leather coat in a shopping bag.

The Old Cold Bird
a variation on cold turkey

fifty kilos
a little over 110 pounds

Page 301

color of summer squash
The colors of summer squashes vary, but Wallace probably is implying that Poor Tony looks yellow.

sty
alternate spelling of stye

chignon
hair tied into a knot worn at the back of the head, similar to a bun.

troughs and nodes
deep furrows and swollen areas, respectively
more likely: lows and data points or vertices between changes in symptoms.

habilements
misspelling of habiliments, i.e., clothing

wan
pale in color

neurasthenic
suffering from nervous exhaustion (with no apparent physical cause)

gender-dysphoric
a person suffering from gender identity disorder

shiva
the Jewish ritual of mourning for seven days, tearing one's clothes, sitting on the floor, covering mirrors, etc.

Year of the Whopper

412 Mount Auburn Street
This is a real address in Watertown. You can see the house here. It doesn't look like a residence. [Google street view suggests otherwise?]

Page 302

Codinex Plus
a brand name of cough syrup

C17-morphine
regular old morphine, which has the chemical composition C17H19NO3

Bonwit's
a department store in Boston

hubris
pride to a fault

cadences
flows of events

Page 303

Merry Widow
a woman's undergarment consisting of a strapless bra and short corset

Amalfo
apparently a misspelling of Amalfi, a brand of shoes

45 kg
a little over 99 pounds

Zuckung
German: convulsion, jerk or twitch

pebbled glass
a drinking glass having a rough surface

filial
pertaining to a son or daughter

Mount Auburn Cemetery
the first landscaped cemetery in the U.S.

A.F.L.
Armenian Foundation Library

loo
British colloquialism for toilet

flatulence
farting

demethylated
with a methyl group (CH3) removed. Technically, this is incorrect; to go from codeine (C18H21NO3) to morphine (C17H19NO3) requires the removal of a methylene group (CH2). The accurate term would be "demethylenated."

Page 304

duplicitous
deceptive in speech

hapless
without luck

formicating
moving like ants

bilirubin
the compound that makes urine yellow

behemoth
a large beast

synaptic
pertaining to the spaces between brain cells

dessicated
dried out

Eighty-Proof
40 percent alcohol

augur
to serve as an omen

Page 305

incongruous
out of place

obstretric
of or relating to childbirth

dirigibles
blimps or zeppelins (airships)

tumid
swollen

Red Sox of Rice and Lynn
Jim Rice (1974-1989) and Fred Lynn (1974-1980) both played in the 1975 World Series.

taffeta
a crisp, smooth, woven fabric, often made from silk, used in gowns

gaffed fish
caught with a very large hook

flounces
strips of decorative material

Page 306


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