Words: pseud, n. and adj.

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WITHOUT HITLER, today's column would not linger in 1769 - and millions of years BC. Jane Young was told the day after a raid, "You like old books, have this - it was under the foundation stone."

Whoever put the Annual Register there cannot have envisaged its thus surfacing so soon, and my reading William Hunter of the Royal Society. He did not know of dinosaurs but spoke of pseud-elephant bones. From Greek for false, it is always associated with Pseuds' Corner, a nuance first used by the Spectator in 1962 which derives from Wyclif (1380).

Hunter says that the pseud was carnivorous: and if "we as philosophers regret it, as men we cannot but thank heaven that its whole generation is probably extinct". Dinosaurs were mildness itself beside Hitler.

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