Michael O'Hare is worried about being stuck for hours in O'Hare because of insane new flight security regulations and argues "A book is a low-tech object that can be X-rayed and riffled to confirm that it's what it appears to be;". I believe he is referring to the act of running the book's pages past your fingers like shuffling cards. The English word for this act is "to rifle" not "to riffle" which would be what a breaze does to still waters.
Hmmm remember the book "Primary Colors" written by Anonymous who turned out to be Joe Klein ? How did it turn out ? Seems Klein used "riffled" for "rifled" (IIRC the context was exactly riffling the pages of a book). Makes me wonder if anyone has ever seen Michael O'Hare and Joe Klein in the same room at the same time.
Naaaah. Michael O'Hare is an extremely thoughtful and intelligent commentator. Klein is a wanker. But wait didn't people read "Primary Colors" from cover to cover. The status of Roman a Clef without a Clef could have gotten people past page 10, but evidently, the author is someone who can write. Now Klein eventually admitted to being "anonymous" causing a great scandal, a 3 week leave of absence, and a huge lift for his career.
hmmmmm. Anyone know where O'Hare was in 1992 ?
update: I admit that, since the "Primary Colors" took place in the 20th century way back in the age of the dinosaurs, the only evidence I found was in comments on blogs. Thus I am guilty of Nutpicking and, for all I know, "a book is a low-tech object that can be X-rayed and riffled" is correct English. My google search.