Swamped Out


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Other Suspects: Swamped Out

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (70.philadelphia-18-19rs.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.7.70) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 08:33 am:

I've made an addition to the "stylistic" page of the Unabomber-Zodiac website (http://home.att.net/~mignarda/style.html). In his 1970 Thirteen-Symbol Cipher letter, Zodiac remarks, "I was swamped out by the rain we had a while back." In the Manifesto, Kaczynski uses the word "swamped" in two separate sections. It's a somewhat unusual form of expression, and I thought it worthy of inclusion.

By Jake (Jake) (spider-tp022.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.204.182) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 12:19 pm:

Here's what Penn has to say on the phrase:

"'Swamped out' does not mean inundated. Swamping out is what you do to a cluttered attic or a weed-infested back yard. It means 'cleaning up,' not 'flooding.'" (TIMES 17, p. 130)

Now, the primary definition of the verb "swamp" is, in fact, to inundate or to flood. A quck check with the Oxford English Dictionary, however, reveals the following:

"5. N. Amer. To make (a logging-road) in a forest or 'swamp' by felling trees, clearing away undergrowth, etc. Also, to haul (logs) to the skidways. Also with 'out'."

And then -- surprise -- this one:

"6. intr. To work as a bullock-driver's assistant (also casually, in return for having one's 'swag' carried); to make (one's way) by obtaining a lift from a traveller. Cf. SWAMPER 1c, d. Austral. slang."

Now Scott, I read in the LHR Reconstruction thread that you're a big huge guy who knows all about guns and has what might be called a suspicious interest in the Zodiac case. My question is, did you have access to the OED in 1970?

--Jake

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (194.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.31.194) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 04:02 pm:

To tell the truth, I really don't care what Penn has to say about the phrase. I'm still waiting for Penn's major contribution to world culture.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (spider-ntc-td041.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.17.166) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 06:18 pm:

Jake,
Interesting.Ed-There's that Australian thing again.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acbe5c36.ipt.aol.com - 172.190.92.54) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 10:33 pm:

That's the thing about those English/Australian thangs, Howard... they keep popping up.

The thing about Penn is that, as usual, he has no clue what he's talking about. The dictionary meaning of the term is immaterial in this case; if used improperly, it is the context in which it is used that determines the meaning. Z used the term in conjunction with rain; therefore he meant that he was flooded, not weed whacking or something.

Where do these wannabe "investigators" come from anyway???

By Zander Kite (Zk) (a010-1027.stbg.splitrock.net - 64.196.37.11) on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 11:49 am:

Doug, I like "swamped" as an addition because it's rare enough to be worthy and I am compelled by the "swamped out by the rain/swamped by the tide" comparison. Another one I like is "I shall no longer announce to anyone/Why do we announce our goals only now". I believe it shows that the writer(s), in each case, are distant loners much better off communicating by pen. Also, both terrorists, The Zodiac and Theodore Kaczynski, used the word "please" which I find to be suspicious.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (217.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.17.217) on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 01:06 pm:

Once again, Zander, a couple of excellent catches. "Please" is highly suspicious for someone who is making dire demands on pain of committing bloody murders and shows, I believe, a touch of sneering irony. "Please rush to Editor," "Please help me," and "Please, no nasty ones like Melvin's" compare with Kaczynski's "Please see to it that the answer to our offer is well publicized ..."

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td083.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.17.188) on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 08:03 am:

Jake asked, "Now Scott, I read in the LHR Reconstruction thread that you're a big huge guy who knows all about guns and has what might be called a suspicious interest in the Zodiac case. My question is, did you have access to the OED in 1970?"

I have no knowledge of the existence of such a book, nor would I be at liberty to discuss the definitions contained within the book, if in fact, such a book exists.

By ZoeGlass (Zoeglass) (max2-18.evansinet.com - 63.69.48.18) on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 01:40 pm:

Good point Doug such is not a common expression.
I've only known it to be used on construction
sights , when rain and/or underground water sepage would not allow work.

How deep is that bomb burried?

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-mtc-tj023.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.106.28) on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 05:04 pm:

Zoe, were you released?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-ta074.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.16.54) on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 11:37 pm:

I wrote, "I have no knowledge of the existence of such a book, nor would I be at liberty to discuss the definitions contained within the book, if in fact, such a book exists."

Come on folks, I was certain that somebody would have recognized this as a paraphrase of one of Captain Willard's statements in Apocalypse Now. Was it really that (deadpan silence) bad?

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acbe244e.ipt.aol.com - 172.190.36.78) on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 11:58 pm:

Scott, you may not believe this, but I never saw Apocalypse Now (I just saw Dirty Harry for the first time a couple of months back). No wonder I wondered what you were talking about.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-ta074.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.16.54) on Sunday, April 28, 2002 - 12:19 am:

Ed,

Lesson learned: Never take this brazen idiot too seriously. HA!

By Jake (Jake) (spider-mtc-tc013.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.105.153) on Sunday, April 28, 2002 - 01:59 pm:

What's embarrassing is that I recognized that phrase's perversion from Fight Club, but had forgotten entirely its origin in Apocalypse Now.

--Jake