Friday, March 31, 2006


In Vitriol Veritas

Sometimes, what you think you read or hear is more entertaining (and perhaps more appropriate) than what is actually written or spoken. On my computer desktop was an icon for a pdf file that I glanced at and saw "In vitriol". I thought, "Wow, that sounds interesting, but I don't remember downloading that". So I opened it up for some bitchy enjoyment. It was actually "In Vitro Investigation of the Effect of Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction and Medial Tibial Tuberosity Transfer on Lateral Patellar Stability." Oh, yeah. Now I remember. I had to get up at 530am Wednesday so I could pick up a cup of coffee and sit around with colleagues and discuss the merits of this article. That's right. I'm living the dream.

To make up for this, I decided to look up "vitriol/vitriolic" on the internet.

I found a band called My Vitriol. According to their website, their last album in 2002 was a big hit and they seem to have a huge dedicated fanbase. The old album in available on imusic. They are currently working on a new album. Who cares? Apparently I do - probably because they were initially formed by a guy from Sri Lanka. I have had a fascination with Sri Lanka ever since third grade when I made a model of the country out of paste and did a presentation for my class. That was during my "I'm going to be an archaeologist" phase and I loved that Sri Lanka was thought to be one of the sites of earliest civilization. Also, being from Alabama, that was the most exotic word to date that I'd learned to spell. Shortly after that, I got into Sri Chimnoy and yoga (I was a very weird kid) and became a social outcast with no hope of being a debutante. Oh well.

Segue...So I decided to google "Sri Lanka and found this, which I found disturbing on soooo many levels. First of all, what is a "top secret" organization doing with a website? And who died and made the CIA editor of "The World Factbook"? O.K. Back to vitriol...

So then I was going to look up the true definition of "vitriol" on the OED online (because, yes, someone did die and make the OED the final arbiter of all definitions) but I no longer have a subscription. So I checked out Wikipedia instead. Found the following definitions...

"Vitriol is the name that alchemists gave to sulfuric acid. The name was also used for various sulfate salts: copper(II) sulfate (blue vitriol, or rarely Roman vitriol) zinc sulfate (white vitriol), iron(II) sulfate, or ferrous sulfate (green vitriol) iron(III) sulfate, or ferric sulfate (vitriol of Mars) cobalt(II) sulfate (red vitriol).

Oil of vitriol is concentrated sulfuric acid so named due to its oily appearance.

Vitriol is also a quality of abusive or malicious forms of speech or feelings."

Isn't etymology fun? If you don't agree, don't spew your vitriol at me. That stuff burns.

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