Words and Language: Other things too

Well, this is going to be a post filled with links…a link dump of mass proportions, but since I am a lazyass…I will cop the fabulous pictures and GIFs for this post from: L’Amour, L’Amour! A Black Maria Valentine

We’ve collected images and gifs that make our hearts beat a little faster, our knees a little weaker, our heads a little lighter, and our lives a little sweeter. And if things get a bit too hot, just do what we do: stick your head in the freezer.

(BTW, another awesome Valentine post from Black Maria to check out, Top 5 Effed Up Valentine Day movies)

I don’t know…aside from a few choice cuts of beefcake in the movies these days, they sure don’t make ’em like they used to.

Oh…yes please:


Michael Fassbender…..


Ah…..thank you.

Anyway, back to the post at hand….

Now, I have collected the language and word usage links on this thread for a while now,  I don’t know why…i just find all this stuff fascinating.

15 -Ologists and What They Study | Mental Floss

1. Pomologists consider fruit food for thought.

2. The clock’s always ticking for time-obsessed horologists.

3. Vexillologists have an unwavering fascination with flags.

4. Oologists concern themselves with eggs—and not just on a brunch menu.

5. If you’re watching clouds for a living, you’re a nephologist.

6. Myrmecologists drone on and on about ants.

7. Ophiologists sss-study snakes.

8. Playing video games is serious work for ludologists.

9. Speleologists are immersed in cave research.

More “ologist” at the link, but for those who study words…etymologist, or languages aka Linguistics:

World Wide Words: Verbigeration

The American actor, musician, and author John Lithgow remarked in a recent newspaper interview that verbigeration was his current favourite word. Though it describes the use of words, the concern of any actor or writer, Mr Lithgow would surely not wish it to be applied to himself.

One might guess that it refers to the bigging up of verbs, though it’s actually said with a soft g, like refrigeration. The association isn’t altogether wrong, as it refers to the involuntary repetition of meaningless words and phrases. The psychiatrist Bernard Glueck described it in 1916 as “senseless word salad”. Another writer, G Stanley Hall, in a work ten years earlier with the off-putting title Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene, preferred to define it as “The continual utterance of certain words or phrases at short intervals, without reference to their meaning.” It has been regarded as a symptom of a mental disorder, though we in the UK, currently in the run-up to a general election, may feel it could be used to describe certain British political figures.

Read more about the roots of the word at the link.

Oxford Junior Dictionary’s replacement of ‘natural’ words with 21st-century terms sparks outcry | Books | The Guardian

“A” should be for acorn, “B” for buttercup and “C” for conker, not attachment, blog and chatroom, according to a group of authors including Margaret Atwood and Andrew Motion who are “profoundly alarmed” about the loss of a slew of words associated with the natural world from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, and their replacement with words “associated with the increasingly interior, solitary childhoods of today”.

The 28 authors, including Atwood, Motion, Michael Morpurgo and Robert Macfarlane, warn that the decision to cut around 50 words connected with nature and the countryside from the 10,000-entry children’s dictionary, is “shocking and poorly considered” in the light of the decline in outdoor play for today’s children. They are calling on publisher Oxford University Press to reverse its decision and, if necessary, to bring forward publication of a new edition of the dictionary to do so.

The likes of almond, blackberry and crocus first made way for analogue, block graph and celebrity in the Oxford Junior Dictionary in 2007, with protests at the time around the loss of a host of religious words such as bishop, saint and sin. The current 2012 edition maintained the changes, and instead of catkin, cauliflower, chestnut and clover, today’s edition of the dictionary, which is aimed at seven-year-olds starting Key Stage Two, features cut and paste, broadband and analogue.

If they have K is for Kardashian…we really have gone past shocking and poorly considered. That is just fucked up.

The Kardashianspeak…What Is Vocal Fry? | Mental Floss

You may have heard of the hot new linguistic fad that’s creeping into U.S. speech and undermining your job chances. Or maybe you know it as the debilitating speaking disorder afflicting North American women or the verbal tic of doom. It’s called vocal fry, and it’s the latest “uptalk” or “valleyspeak,” AKA the “ditzy girl” speaking style that people love to hate.

Unlike uptalk, which is a rising intonation pattern, or valleyspeak, which covers a general grab bag of linguistic features, including vocabulary, vocal fry describes a specific sound quality caused by the movement of the vocal folds. In regular speaking mode, the vocal folds rapidly vibrate between a more open and more closed position as the air passes through. In vocal fry, the vocal folds are shortened and slack so they close together completely and pop back open, with a little jitter, as the air comes through. That popping, jittery effect gives it a characteristic sizzling or frying sound. (I haven’t been able to establish that that’s how fry got its name, but that’s the story you hear most often.)

Vocal fry, which has also been called creaky voice, laryngealization, glottal fry, glottal scrape, click, pulse register, and Strohbass (straw bass), has been discussed in musical and clinical literature since at least the middle of the 20th century. It is a technique (not necessarily encouraged) that lets a singer go to a lower pitch than they would otherwise be capable of. It shows up with some medical conditions affecting the voice box. It is also an important feature in some languages, like Zapotec Mayan, where fry can mark the distinction between two different vowels. These days, however, you mostly hear about it as a social phenomenon, as described (and decried) as “the way a Kardashian speaks” in this video by Faith Salie.

Looks like dudes love to Vocal Fry. Read more about that at the link.


And remember language is not always technically “spoken” in the vocalized sense:

Remember the episode of Seinfeld? Where Kramer stops talking…

Well, take a look at this, 18 Dramatic Ways to Express Yourself with Gestures, According to a 19th Century Book | Mental Floss

In 1846, Dr. Andrew Comstock published A system of elocution, with special reference to gesture, to the treatment of stammering, and defective articulation, comprising numerous diagrams, and engraved figures, illustrative of the subject. The book was, he wrote, “designed for the use of Schools and Colleges, as well as for the instruction of private individuals who desire to improve themselves in the art of reading and speaking.” The book includes not just instructions and exercises in articulation, pitch, force, and time, but also gestures to use when expressing certain emotions or feelings (largely sourced, Comstock explains, from Gilbert Austin’s Chironomia, or a Treatise on Rhetorical Delivery). Normally, you’d use these while on stage, but feel free to employ them in your everyday life, too.

12. Grief Arising from Sudden and Afflicting Intelligence

This isn’t your regular sadness. To express it, a person must “[cover] the eyes with one hand, [advance] forwards, and [throw] back the other hand.”


18. Self-Sufficiency

“Self-sufficiency folds the arms, and sets himself on his center,” Comstock writes, noting that “this was a favorite posture of [Napoleon] Bonaparte.”

Then you have other forms of communication:

Addicting Info – Nobody Is Having A Worse Day Than This Sign Language Guy (IMAGES)


And the other lost in translation examples, which I don’t know if are real or not, but still they’re a trip:


On another kind of translation:

The Old English Translation of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum in its Historical and Cultural Context


Alright, just go and look at the rest of the damn pictures and gifs already, here is the Black Maria link again:

L’Amour, L’Amour! A Black Maria Valentine


Oh wait, but I got more link goodness for ya:

10 Things We Just Don’t Know About Language And Communication – Listverse

By the time we’re in school, we’re able to do it without even really thinking about it. It’s rare that we go through a day without using a handful of different types of communication. It’s so automatic that it almost seems like it’s hard-wired into us—and perhaps it is. There’s still a lot we don’t know about just how our ability to communicate through language came about, where it’s going, and when we’re finally going to be able to communicate with animals.

Via Susie Madrak» Blog Archive » How climate shaped the languages we speak

Go read it, it is really good.

Languages Are Mostly Made of Happy Words – The Atlantic

A new study analyzes vocabulary from around the world and finds a universal skew toward the positive.

15 Charming Old-Fashioned Compliments to Slip Into Conversation | Mental Floss

The only thing more rewarding than receiving a fine compliment is doling one out. Here are a few charming, cute, and kooky kudos from the days of yore, dating back through the past seven centuries, all sure to land you in good favor with those on the receiving end.


Even during the brutal Medieval period there were instances of delicacy: Romantic knights, well read royals, and love-struck troubadours all knew their way around some fancy words. For instance, we have this delightful term for a lady rich in personality as well as physical beauty.


A regular companion to “bellibone,” this charming little term of endearment, which comes from a French word meaning “a sweet baby,” has a more youthful, impish connotation.

Sticking with the Middle Ages a bit:

Metaphor in the Medieval Middle East

The Arab world’s preoccupation with the mechanics of language has a long history. More then a millennium ago, scholars in what is now Iran were reading, thinking and writing books about how metaphors work.

Eleventh-century polymaths Raghib al-Isfahani and Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani worked to understand and explain what happens to readers when a poem compares a flash of lightning to a book being opened and closed. They wrote complex theories that detailed how our brains connect something our eyes read to something our hands touch, while at the same time processing the words on the page to help us imagine what lightning looks like.

So damn interesting…

A little more history, words can also be expanded into symbols right?: Why Is The Dollar Sign A Letter S?

The letter S appears nowhere in the word “dollar”, yet an S with a line through it ($) is unmistakably the dollar sign. But why an S? Why isn’t the dollar sign something like a Đ (like the former South Vietnamese đồng, or the totally-not-a-joke-currency Dogecoin)?

There’s a good story behind it, but here’s a big hint: the dollar sign isn’t a dollar sign.

It’s a peso sign.

Though the dollar and peso symbols are inextricably linked, the origin of the word “dollar” is rooted in elsewhere. Its story begins in 1500s Bohemia, a central European kingdom spanning most of today’s Czech Republic.

Go and learn more at the link.

And for our last word/language link of the night:

It’s a digital world, but the writing is not on the wall for the handwritten note | Media | The Guardian

Take notes: they are hard to ignore – and a window on the soul. This humble communication is an art form that still remains vital

Rummaging through my mother’s collection of postcards while helping her move house recently, I found one with the following note scribbled on it: “Keep this. It is beautiful.” Who could ignore such an earnest instruction? Not me. I turned it over immediately to discover what “it” was (a rather atypical Van Gogh held by a museum in Copenhagen, if you’re interested).

Notes – a few words written on a piece of paper to remind, cajole or influence – are still part of our lives, despite the ubiquity of text and Twitter. Why is this? You might have thought the digital age would have rendered them unnecessary.

Oh…I just hope you enjoy all those tasty treats…I love words, word games and the like, so I found the links about simply fun and I think we all could use a little fun lately. Now if you want to stop there, please do. Most of the links below are not so “fun” so you have been warned.

Link dump related to recent news stories:

10 Very Special Valentine’s Day Cards | List of X



Addicting Info – Just When You Thought Bill And Hillary Couldn’t Get Any Cuter, They Go And Do This (VIDEO/TWEETS)


It looks as though the NSA hired a teen-ager to run its twitter feed:

Hullabaloo 2015-02-15 18-36-35

Hullabaloo 2015-02-15 18-34-30

Heritage Not Hate, Brazilian Style – Lawyers, Guns & Money

Rand Paul Blames Hillary Clinton For Rise Of ISIS, New Coke, Cancellation Of Happy Endings | Wonkette

Addicting Info – Rand Paul Tries To Embarrass Hillary Clinton With Fake Pinterest Account, Embarrasses Self Instead

Funny Guy Rand Paul Sets Up Pinterest Account for Hillary Clinton 

Yale Frat SAE Banned For Violating Sexual Misconduct Policy

Repro Wrap: Woman Convicted for Both ‘Feticide’ and ‘Neglect’ and Other News | Care2 Causes

Addicting Info – Georgia Cop Allegedly Beat Woman Into Having A Miscarriage Because He ‘Didn’t Like Her Tone’

And this cop is not convicted or indicted for Feticide or murder?

Lawsuit: NY Cop Broke Leg Of Boy, 10, For Filming Him | Crooks and Liars

Alabama policeman may be fired over assault | Al Jazeera America

San Diego Cops Thought Brothers Were Robbing Own Store, Beat Them Up Just To Be Sure | Wonkette

Damn, I know that’s a lot of depressing stories there and I don’t want to end it on a shitty note but there is one thing that happened this week, which was terrific:

Jamie Brewer Is The First Model With Down Syndrome To Walk During New York Fashion Week

Jamie Brewer has made history.

Brewer became the first model with Down syndrome to walk the runway during New York Fashion Week when she took part in Carrie Hammer’s “Role Models Not Runway Models” campaign Thursday.

“Young girls and even young women … [see me] and say ‘hey, if she can do it so can I,’” Brewer, who appears in “American Horror Story” and is an activist for the Down syndrome community, told the “Today” show. “It’s a true inspiration being a role model for any young women to [encourage them] in being who they are and showing who they are.”

Brewer tweeted about the exciting experience and shared some backstage photos Thursday morning.

jamie brewer


Jamie Brewer Makes Fashion Week History By Being the First Person with Down Syndrome to Walk the Runway | 2015 New York Fashion Week Winter, Jamie Brewer : Just Jared

jamie brewer makes fashion week history 04


jamie brewer makes fashion week history 01




jamie brewer makes fashion week history 03


The woman looks fabulous! And if you ask me, those are some confident as shit dramatic gestures she is sporting there.

This is an open thread!

22 Comments on “Words and Language: Other things too”

  1. Hey I am fixing the images on this post, but I wanted to get it posted.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Verbigeration. I love it! It could be used to describe Sarah Palin’s speeches.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Wonderful post!

    My favorite movie kiss is Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen. I need to see that movie again!

    “What a time we had Rosie. What a time we had!”

  4. List of X says:

    After reading the stories about Rand Paul creating a parody Instagram account for Hillary Clinton, those NSA tweets suddenly make sense, too.
    Come on, Paul, can’t you leave the comedy to the professionals? And politics too, while you’re at it? if it’s not too much too ask.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Louis Jourdan, dashing Frenchman who co-starred in ‘Gigi,’ dies at 93


  6. Sweet Sue says:

    JJ, you’re some kind of genius. Please move to Cleveland and teach old people how to blog like this. Mwwwaaah.

  7. BB, looks like Banjoville may be in the deep freeze soon: Gov. Deal declares emergency for N. Ga. counties ahead of storm | AccessNorthGa Deal ain’t taking no chances, eh?

  8. Sweet Sue says:

    I love Jamie Brewer!

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Sign of spring: The Rod Sox equipment truck has arrived in Florida.

  10. joanelle says:

    Oh, BB you’ve been on my mind all week. We’re having a heat wave here in northern NJ – it’s 3 degrees, it was 0 when I went to bed last night.
    How are you, are your food supplies holding out? I heard this morning that we’re all in for more snow tomorrow here on the east coast. Bundle, baby bundle!!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      LOL! It was below zero when I got up this morning. I’m not sure what it is now somewhere in the teens. I went out and shoveled the front porch and steps and that was all I could do. Sigh… another snowstorm coming tomorrow.

      I have plenty of supplies for now though. Thanks for thinking of me! The hardest part is being alone in the house and snowed in. I can’t even go see my nephews because there is nowhere
      to park in Cambridge.

      Lucky Dakinikat. It’s 76 in New Orleans.