TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Humour: Nocilis of Yppolf #1 From:"Brian J. Dooley" <Brian_Dooley -at- EQUINOX -dot- GEN -dot- NZ> Date:Fri, 7 Jan 1994 04:29:18 +1300
Thought some folks here might be amused by the following, which is a limited
distribution item designed as a humorous commentary on the computer industry
and a means of keeping the writer sane through tedious projects. This is
one episode of seven (so far). If you enjoy it, drop me a note and I will
more...if there are not enough such messages, I will consider that it's not
quite this group's cup of tea, and will leave off....
The Continuing Adventures of Nocilis of Yppolf
As Related to BJ Dooley
Returning after a 10 year absence.
Origins: Nocilis of Yppolf was invented over 10 years ago in the dawn of
computing. He achieved some popularity in electronic mail distribution for
poking fun at
various aspects of our industry. It should be noted that most words of
written backwards (Nocilis is Silicon, for example). In some cases, however,
are merely placed in lower case or a combination that sounds like the
intended item is
used. Or, the intended item may be written outright, according to the whim
of the writer.
Inflammatory Introductory Material
0.1 Nocilis Returns
Hear ye, hear ye, whilst I relate unto you the story of the brave Nocilis
sets forth along the broad stretches of the Internet, passing with due
the provinces of Sysinu, and Cnil, and Ikaroa and having aught to do with
the 'Mbi and
other tribes along the way. List to the tales of great deeds done and
taken; of truly momentous posturings and wondrously significant looks.
But now, onward with our story, and onward brave Nocilis (may his trip be
adventurous as the inhabitants of his fulsome beard!).
0.2 Pro Bono
From everywhere in Retupmoc they came to see Nocilis, home at last from
Some skittered across the sands, some lurched through the tall grass, and
through the trees to gather at his feet.
"I have many a tale to tell, and much has occupied me these past ten
years," he said.
"First, there were the Crusades of the Tfosorcim and 'Mbi over the lands
and Oestu. To this very day do they battle mightily, hurling himem and gui
until they are
indistinguishable from each other. Lately, they have begun to pass great
insults across the
chasm of Aidemitlum. Where this will end, no-one knows.
"I, of course, have a book on the subject," he rubbed the massive
cartilage of his
rubicund proboscis with great vigour. "The more they fight, the more books
will I sell. It
is my thought now to equip them both with nuclear weapons."
"I passed through many areas, including the province of Sna, which is a
bothersome colony of the 'Mbi. Upon arrival, I was met with cries of 'Saa,
saa, saa,' which
is their universal greeting. I attempted to use this word, but an irritated
responded 'Snads, sna lusixtwo. Pu bind snat lu-lu.' Since I could not
understand a word
of this, I attempted the Osi vernacular, but was loudly repulsed with a
chorus of 'Nih, nih,
"Somewhat further along the way did I encounter roving denizens of Mor-dc,
followed lustily in a minstrel career. They sang unto me their song, and I
entertained. It went something like this:
We of Mor-dc do sing our sprightly song
We store a gigabyte of stuff for very, very long
We careth not one jug just what our storing might contain
So long as it is saleable and reasonably tame
So long as we get paid for it and can obtain it free
Our orisons go out that thus, ever shall it be.
"I left them to contemplate aged government documents, obsolete business
twenty year old telephone books and other items not within the bounds of
continued on my way.
"I, of course, have a book on the subject," snorted Nocilis, kneading his
palms, which sweated in the manner of rising bread dough as he manipulated
more of my travels, you must read my book. It is very expensive. Do not
with payment now, but certainly will I take your money after you have read
The others looked on in awe. At last had their hero returned. Great
Nocilis had come
THE SECOND BOOK OF NOCILIS
Now, Nocilis had entered the great land of Ai, which is a part of the
peninsula, the largest land area in Retopmoc--an area that actually
increases in size from
year to year as flotsam is piled upon it from the waves. Here live the Ten
Laruen, a group
of particularly sober minded individuals who oversee the administration of
the province. It
was his plan to meet with the Ten, thereby to discern how the province was
"You cannot meet with only one," said the Ten. "Not one." "No." "Never
one." "One, not" "One, no" "Not one" "No-one" "None"
At this, they erupted into a great argument as to how the phrasing of the
be put. The manner of their debating was this: Each would come somewhat
closer to a
conclusion, then would whisper the current results into the ear of his
neighbor, who would
think on it, and pass it along.
The Ten retreated for a moment and erupted into a barrage of whispers.
"It is our conclusion that your umbrella is a chicken." said their
Nocilis thanked them politely for this piece of wisdom, then departed
forth with his beard gathered up in both hands so that it would not contact
any of the
many spider webs that filled the corridors of Ai.
At length he reached a junction, and, as he was determining whether to go
right or left, a
small group of trepxe metsys came rushing toward him out of the dark,
teeth and yelping that distinctive rodent yelp which is so much afeard in
these parts. They
stopped in front of them, an Nocilis placed his stave staunchly to the fore,
calling out the
sacred formula "troba, yrter, dneba, kaerb." There was a clap of thunder,
and the rodents
The fattest of the trepxe metsys approached hesitantly, as the others
watching the great Nocilis with all due apprehension.
"I have a propothition for you," he said, somewhat deviously.
" We are in need of ruleth. You could give us thome, then we would let you
"Rules concerning what?"
"It doth not much matter. Any rule ith a good rule, so long ath it can be
"But even a lisped rule must certainly require some expertise on a
"So do they thay. But the more that the rule may be lithped the leth
expert mutht it
Nocilis pondered for a moment, then whispered a rule into the leaders'
ear. The leader
nodded and let him pass. He hurried down along the passage as a great
yelping and fury
began behind him, for the rule he had given was "trepxe metsys must lisp
that lisp trepxe metsys." This had been interpreted simply as "eat your
(Copyright 1993, Brian J. Dooley)
***** BRIAN J. DOOLEY ***** 1/45 Aylesford St., Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
email: Brian_Dooley -at- equinox -dot- gen -dot- nz CompuServe: 75146,3212