For reasons that may or may not become clear as we proceed, the following quote seemed as good a place as any to kick this whole thing off from…  Although much-referenced, it has not been easy to find comprehensive links, but some are provided below.  Let’s be honest though, the words speak entirely for themselves:

These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies recall those attributed by Dr. Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopedia called the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.

In its distant pages it is written that animals are divided into:

(a) those that belong to the emperor;

(b) embalmed ones;

(c) those that are trained;

(d) suckling pigs;

(e) mermaids;

(f) fabulous ones;

(g) stray dogs;

(h) those that are included in this classification;

(i) those that tremble as if they were mad;

(j) innumerable ones;

(k) those drawn with a very fine camel’s-hair brush;

(l) etcetera;

(m) those that have just broken the flower vase;

(n) those that at a distance resemble flies.”

For more, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_Emporium_of_Benevolent_Recognition

And here: http://blog.johnath.com/index.php/2006/11/15/celestial-emporium-of-benevolent-knowledge/

And also here: http://brandt.kurowski.net/2003/10/22/wilkins/

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