Not that there's ever a good time...

...but coming down with a stomach bug less than a week from your wedding is the very definition of "sub-optimal." On the plus side, while searching the British Library's archives for images for "doctor" images, I came across a character I'd never heard of but who has one of the best grammar-related super villain names ever: Doctor Syntax!

Maybe "super" villain was a stretch...

Maybe "super" villain was a stretch...

Dr. Syntax was the most-famous creation of William Combe, a former adventurer turned debtor turned satirist. Syntax was a riff on William Gilpin, one of the founders of the picturesque, and as easy a target for satire as one could hope to encounter.

I'm sure that to his contemporaries, Combe's efforts were scathing and, if not hilarious, then at least worthy of a knowing chuckle or two, but from the vantage point of the twenty-first century, "the picturesque" seems an awful narrow scope for satire. It would be like Weird Al doing an entire album making fun of nerdcore. It feels like the joke would get old pretty quick, but Combe produced three volumes of Dr. Syntax.

That'd be a great niche, wouldn't it? Satirizing something really obscure and technical would be, one would think, a pretty sweet deal. You're not going to have a lot of competition, and so long as you don't Big Bang Theory it and show no interest in actually understanding the thing you're spoofing, the chances of success, albeit of a limited variety, seem pretty high.

Anyway, yes, I've been running a fever and I'm not thinking straight. Why do you ask? I'm off to bed to not sleep and to roll over, ninety degrees, every fifteen minutes.

-RK