Classical Usuage: In Chapter 6 Melville describes New Bedford and the fancy houses, parks and gardens belonging to the citizens. He asks, “Whence came they? how planted upon this once scraggy scoria of a country? Does Melville actually think the New World is the remnants of a volcano? He does think whales are fish, so I’m not necessary relying on the accuracy of his scientific statements.
Classically Mad Usage: Scoria gives me the heeby-jeebies much like fingernails on a chalkboard, or forks on a bare plate. The texture, the sound it makes against other pieces of scoria – yeck!