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When I was an undergrad I had a summer job working for university maintenance crew. Our workshop was in a garage in a building built into the side of the hill, so we had this retaining leading into the garage, and a dumpster sitting below the retaining wall. There was a bush on the hill above the dumpster, and it had…

I think Wilde both understood the double-meanings of his word choices, and purposefully made their use ambiguous and silly enough in the play to obscure any direct referents. That wasn't uncommon at all in 19th and early 20th century Anglo-Irish literature, and even earlier — the double-meanings, not the coded words…

It looks a lot like the percontation point, but the irony mark's location is a bit different, as it is smaller, elevated, and precedes a statement to indicate its intent before it is read. Alcanter de Brahm introduced the idea in the 19th century, and in 1966 French author Hervé Bazin proposed a similar glyph in his…