Monday, November 23, 2009

the incredible b/rightness of words



Consider:

  1. On cell phone, texting in T9 the word home: the first two characters get you to in (for IN = the essence of HOME) though you are also offered the option of go (because either we are away and want to go home or we are home and just want to go).  At three characters you arrive at inn (almost home, not quite).  Add the final and fourth character and you have come to good, or as it were, home, at last.  e-philosophy in very fact. **


  2. The Chinese ideogram for good (hao) 好 is a woman with a child;  but the ideogram for home (jia) 家 is a pig under a roof - {This is not so funny as we modern sub/urbanites may think:  pig = wealth, i.e. a guarantee of many meals - freshly on the hoof and safely corralled.}


  3. When over-excitement of the scrivening gland  led me last week to invent an awkward form of the word conundrum, a subsequent sobering led me to the dictionary where I discovered that –

    co⋅nun⋅drum  (a riddle, anything that puzzles)  
    is [origin unknown],  a pseudo-L word of obscure orig.
    as it ought to be.

  4. In order to prove that sign language was actually language and not simply pantomime, linguists have had to prove that the handsigns were arbitrary - snatched from thin air and not merely mirroring the world around them.  Arbitrary being  the essential (?) qualifier of true language.  And yet our vocal words are incredibly mimetic: Not just snatched and thin, but also: waves of wet water, moist mud glistening.  Hard is hard and soft - isn't it softAnd linguist and language come from the old word for tongue  - which you already know in your body, don't you?  As you say language, don't you feel the whole length of that speaking tongue? 

Just like vocal and voice and invoke and revoke
and invocation are of the throat -


(** or mere obfuscation ** see comments below for elucidation ** )

sorry - I can't help it this week - I've got  12,000 more words to write by the end of the month and the Thesaurus of the Mind is flooding the verbal centers.  If understanding this fluff of a thought matters to you, there is a slightly more simple explanation in the comments below.) 

5 comments:

Mrs. Organic said...

I think I am not running on enough brain power - this (mostly the first bit) went right over my head. Help!

Emma J said...

Oh, no, it is not you. It is the manic woman sitting at her keyboard hours after hours, letting the squirrels in her brain run a little too freely.

This is the situation. Woman picks up her cell phone to send a text message to her daughter: When will you be home?

But cell phone, lacking proper keyboard, has instead this funky option called T9 Word which will try to guess what she is are trying to spell as she taps out letters.

So to type home, woman taps Key #4 (ghi) and then Key #6 (mno) and the screen displays in.

Woman has the option at this point to tap the "NEXT" button at which the display will read go).

Next she taps Key #6 (mno) again and now the display reads inn.

Last she taps Key #3 (def) and the display reads good and she must tap "NEXT" to arrive at home.

A very and exceeding Small Thought taking too many words to arrive - sorry.

Just something that tickles me every time I have to text that word - this mini-meditation, this multi-faceted approach to HOME.

Moria said...

I hope it was plural conundra. I'll feel validated in my own usage.


(And now I am FINALLY going to get my lazy ass around to actually adding you to my RSS reader instead of being a giant walking blogfail. Copy, click, click, paste, enter, done. Huzzah!)

Mrs. Organic said...

Ah! T9 - which I have never used but Mr. O has and it's resulted in some very interesting msgs, for example, "Please just call me David." He had me terribly confused with that one (somehow "David" got tacked on when he was merely meaning to tell me to call him rather than text him). Now I know if a text from him seems out of character that it's likely a T9 bumble.

Thank you for clearing that up for me.

Emma J said...

Mrs. O - always so rare for me to be of technical help, so thank YOU! :D

Moria - nothing quite so elegant as conundra (which ought to be a word if it is not - for surely conundra breed and multiply). As for "blogfail" - never.

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