Language and Monkey biz

I just changed some elements of the layout of this site. It’s all an attempt to shift things to more of a blog driven site then a website driven blog… or something like that. Anyway the idea is to emphasize the ongoing transient (and yes, fragmentary) nature of the blog postings. It’s as if they were moments when something passes into the central focus of the consciousness and use the rest of the website more as the memory or co-presence.

Hope that’s not too high falutin. For my non-native English speaking friends lets just say that is a word meaning something like pretentious, pompous or arrogant. But what’s important is that Its part of a family of words that could include: hoity-toity, and bon ton. It’s the kind of thing we might associate with the “discourse” of alchouetes.

For some thoughts on a term from my own personal glossary (idolect) check out Monkey biz in the body of this entry.
“Monkey Business”

this is a phrase meaning mischief, or impropernaughty, or annoying activity related to the earlier phrase monkey shines. Interestingly the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) — the arbiter of such things in the English language — apparently says it derives from the Bengali bā̃drāmi i.e. mischievousness, literally, a monkey-trick What linguists or translators might call a claque, i.e. a literal translation from one language to another.

It’s also the name of at least 4 different movies, the most significant one for me is the Marx brother’s film with none other than our friend Groucho.

You can watch the whole thing here.
Too Much Monkey Business is also the title of a song written by Chuck Berry and covered by Elvis, The Beatles and the Yardbirds, among others.

However, for me the phrase points to something else. It refers to and recalls all the “mechanical” behaviours that are our biological inheritance from our pre-human ancestors, almost everything given by our biology and our culture.

for more on Monkey Biz.