A story of infelicitous penguin-naming
November 20, 2007 12:22 PM Subscribe
Did ever a saint baptize some penguins?
posted by Ms. Saint to grab bag (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
At the end of the second lecture of How to Do Things with Words, J. L. Austin writes, "When the saint baptized the penguins, was this void because the procedure of baptizing is inappropriate to be applied to penguins, or because there is no accepted procedure of baptizing anything except humans?"
There are no other references to the penguin-baptizing saint in Austin, nor have I ever met anyone who had any clue what this is about, nor have I been able to find anything on Google about it.
Was this just a quirky example of Austin's own imagination, or is there some story related to it?