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Disorder of a Man of Letters — Xah Belles-lettres

from the haughty emotions of lexicon, stylistic concerns, decipherment of grammar and idioms, linguisticality, literature, and logicality.

Wordy Blog Archive

Word of the day: Neurosis


Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving chronic distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations. The term is no longer used by the professional psychiatric community in the United States, having been eliminated from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980 with the publication of DSM III. It is still used in the ICD-10 Chapter V F40–48.

Neurosis should not be mistaken for psychosis, which refers to a loss of touch with reality. Neither should it be mistaken for neuroticism, a fundamental personality trait proposed in the Big Five personality traits theory.

Symptoms and causes

There are many different neuroses: obsessive–compulsive disorder, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder, impulse control disorder, anxiety disorder, hysteria, and a great variety of phobias.

According to C. George Boeree, professor emeritus at Shippensburg University, the symptoms of neurosis may involve:

... anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc., behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, etc., cognitive problems such as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession, habitual fantasizing, negativity and cynicism, etc. Interpersonally, neurosis involves dependency, aggressiveness, perfectionism, schizoid isolation, socio-culturally inappropriate behaviors, etc.[1]

[2019-04-30 Wikipedia Neurosis]

Easter Worshippers

Easter Worshippers. what a curious phrase. i've never heard of it neither.

The Left Invents New Term For Christians The Daily Wire
Published on Apr 22, 2019

Kim Iversen, a newcomer i found on youtube.

Leftists won't call out the attack against Christians in Sri Lanka Kim Iversen
Published on Apr 22, 2019

Myers-Briggs The personality test that conned the world

Dai Woman, in Yunnan, China

Dai woman Yunnan China 2019-04-11 73rwy
Dai woman Yunnan China 2019-04-11 [image source https://twitter.com/CarlZha/status/1116254969844228097]

The Dai people (Kam Mueang: ᩱᨴᩭ; Thai: ไท; Shan: တႆး [tai˥˩]; Tai Nüa: ᥖᥭᥰ, [tai˥], Chinese: 傣族; pinyin: Dǎizú) are one of several ethnic groups living in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture and the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture (both in southern Yunnan, China), but by extension, the term can apply to groups in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar when Dai is used to mean specifically Tai Yai, Lue, Chinese Shan, Tai Dam, Tai Khao or even Tai in general. For other names, please see the table below.

[2019-04-11 Wikipedia]

very interesting short video on linguistics, by professor Benjamin Slade (long time emacs user and TeX) http://slade.jnanam.net/

𝔅𝔢𝔬𝔴𝔲𝔩𝔣 𝔦𝔰 𝔞𝔫 𝔒𝔩𝔡 𝔈𝔫𝔤𝔩𝔦𝔰𝔥 𝔢𝔭𝔦𝔠 𝔭𝔬𝔢𝔪 𝔠𝔬𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔬𝔣 3,182 𝔞𝔩𝔩𝔦𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔳𝔢 𝔩𝔦𝔫𝔢𝔰. ℑ𝔱 𝔦𝔰 𝔞𝔯𝔤𝔲𝔞𝔟𝔩𝔶 𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔪𝔬𝔰𝔱 𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔞𝔫𝔱 𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔨𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔒𝔩𝔡 𝔈𝔫𝔤𝔩𝔦𝔰𝔥 𝔩𝔦𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔞𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔢. 𝔡𝔞𝔱𝔢𝔡 𝔞𝔯𝔬𝔲𝔫𝔡 1000. 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔞𝔲𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔯 𝔴𝔞𝔰 𝔞𝔫 𝔞𝔫𝔬𝔫𝔶𝔪𝔬𝔲𝔰 𝔄𝔫𝔤𝔩𝔬-𝔖𝔞𝔵𝔬𝔫 𝔭𝔬𝔢𝔱, 𝔯𝔢𝔣𝔢𝔯𝔯𝔢𝔡 𝔱𝔬 𝔟𝔶 𝔰𝔠𝔥𝔬𝔩𝔞𝔯𝔰 𝔞𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔢 “𝔅𝔢𝔬𝔴𝔲𝔩𝔣 𝔭𝔬𝔢𝔱”.

history of usa 2019-04-09 g9gng
history of usa 2019-04-09

Kazakhstan National Anthem

nuclear power china 2019-03-29 y9x5w
nuclear power china

Russian Girl Speaks rrrrr

Russian Girl Speaks rrrrr


A Encompassing Travelog on the City of Sin New York, New York Las Vegas Travelog: New York, New York

todo remove links to wordy-english.blogspot.com

todo http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/wordy-english/

todo 2019-03-16 remove the ruby annotation. example: file:///Users/xah/web/wordyenglish_com/lit/chinese_ba1_mian4_ling2_long2.html

Allograph, Variant of the Letter s = ſ and Integral Sign ∫ (repost)

三个老外谈洋垃圾。😄真可爱。那个洋娃👱‍♀️真漂亮。可真是金发碧眼的娃。 每个老外还都有特色。那个年轻男的,正是蜘蛛侠。说话还东北腔。那个红顶老外,可真是主持。

don't use euphemism (fake words).

xah talk show 2019-03-04 night

india languages 2019-03-04 g64gq
languages of India 2019-03-04 g64gq

三体 (小说) (3 Body Problem, scifi)

first, sate ye hunger. then, sate thy lust. that's today's #xahwords u subscribe http://wordyenglish.com/lit/blog.html i prescribe

china girls wresting show

China 1980s: must guard against “spiritual pollution” from decadent West with “obscene, barbarous or reactionary materials, vulgar taste in artistic performances...”

China Now:

china girls wresting show sp8xv.mp4
from https://twitter.com/CarlZha/status/1097592702709882880

Vocabulary: Words in Olympia Reader

this book is recommended to me

The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople by Susan Wise Bauer Buy at amazon

Chinese Accent

todo. review. work in progress

lojban tutorial

whether or not 2019-02-04 v7djt
whether or not 2019-02-04

whether or not you dunno

常用汉字 Most Used Chinese Chars (new)

Chinese Character Styles 汉字字体风格 (rewritten)

and new nav box.

chinese medicine food 20190107 r2hkc-s289x217
Chinese Medicine Food

year 2009. I was blogging Bertrand Russell's essays.

English Vocabulary: Racial Slurs

Politics and the English Language (George Orwell)

linguistics: the term e-sport

in the past decade, arises e-sport. i.e. video game competition. The term e-sport is idiotic. It formed for marketing reasons. e.g. make teen feel elite, like athletes. Secondly, vid competition is not constructive activity, but, not worse than say movies and actors.

context. ★ gamers in korea https://twitter.com/CGTNOfficial/status/1081092868931010560


  1. Anne Rice's Vampire and Sleeping Beauty
  2. Google Shutdown its Dictionary Service
  3. Oscar Wilde's Tomb and Quips
  4. “The Autumn Of The Patriarch” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  5. 高级程序员装逼指南 (Zhuangbility Manual)
  6. The Writ of My Heart
  7. Chinese Linguistics: 奇葩異草, 百卉千葩
  8. Chinese Phrase: Dripping Beauty 娇艳欲滴
  9. 八面玲珑, 玲珑是啥?
  10. Chinese Fonts Comparison; 中文字體比較
  11. Chinese Fonts on Windows Mac Linux
  12. Comparison of Chinese Fonts Displaying English 中文字體比較 显示英文
  13. Chinese Language Style of Analogy: 有一種前進叫拐彎
  14. English Convention of Capitalization in Titles
  15. The History of English in 10 Minutes, Annotated
  16. Movie “300” and Battle of Thermopylae
  17. Google Glass Dating, and History in Downton Abbey
  18. The Hunger Games, and Highbrowism of The New Yorker: hobbesian, dystopian, epicene, courtier, cosseted
  19. Direct vs Indirect Use of Language (Steven Pinker Talk)
  20. Movie: The Man From Earth
  21. Omni-Powers, Omni-Fantasy
  22. Piraha Language and Crackpot, Academician as Charlatan
  23. Rhetorical Modes (Just Say: Writing Styles)
  24. Sum of Angles of Triangle on Girl's Chest; 妹子,在你胸前随便画个三角形…
  25. Poem: The Bell Tolls for Thee; 鐘為汝鳴
  26. World Literature Classics; Thoughts Extempore
Komachi Onozuka  Phantasmagoria Of Flower View 44269-s210x297
Phantasmagoria of Flower View 東方花映塚

#philosophy. Alice in Wonderland, and Logical Positivism Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass

#math #history #scifi. FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions It's mock-history of class struggle and dark politics, and you start to understand the 4th dimension. It's an old classic, but deemed not ok by political correctness since 1990s.

The Anatomy of Melancholy

The Anatomy of Melancholy

The Anatomy of Melancholy (full title: The Anatomy of Melancholy, What it is: With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, and Several Cures of it. In Three Maine Partitions with their several Sections, Members, and Subsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically, Opened and Cut Up) is a book by Robert Burton, first published in 1621, but republished five more times over the next seventeen years with massive alterations and expansions.

On its surface, the book is presented as a medical textbook in which Burton applies his vast and varied learning, in the scholastic manner, to the subject of melancholia (which includes, although it is not limited to, what is now termed clinical depression). Although presented as a medical text, The Anatomy of Melancholy is as much a sui generis work of literature as it is a scientific or philosophical text, and Burton addresses far more than his stated subject. In fact, the Anatomy uses melancholy as the lens through which all human emotion and thought may be scrutinized, and virtually the entire contents of a 17th-century library are marshalled into service of this goal.[1] It is encyclopedic in its range and reference.

In his satirical preface to the reader, Burton's persona and pseudonym “Democritus Junior” explains, “I write of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy.” This is characteristic of the author's style, which often supersedes the book's strengths as a medical text or historical document as its main source of appeal to admirers. Both satirical and serious in tone, the Anatomy is “vitalized by (Burton's) pervading humour”,[2] and Burton's digressive and inclusive style, often verging on a stream of consciousness, consistently informs and animates the text.[citation needed] In addition to the author's techniques, the Anatomy's vast breadth – addressing topics such as digestion, goblins, the geography of America, and others[1] – make it a valuable contribution to multiple research disciplines.[citation needed]

arabian nights naked girl Anton Pieck 91010-s211x296
Arabian Nights Art Gallery

The sacred, and the profane. today's #xahwords is profane. Now, the article on its own page Meal on a Pill Meal on a Pill

the etymology of profane is: in front of temple. i.e. you not allowed in.

China Dollar Bill Multi-Lingual (old. repost)

The Carnal Prayer Mat (old. repost)

Burma Girls 缅甸 小哥哥们,她们俩姐妹,种香蕉🍌养你们

Capitalists vs Communists chess set 01ad1-s294x213
Capitalists vs Communists chess set

when it's man, it's virile.
when it's girl, it's nubile.
when it's earth, its fertile.
#xahwords of the day

Definition of General Artificial Intelligence

AI translation of Chinese 2018-12-01 34940
AI translation of Chinese 2018-12-01 邂逅发露,祸及知亲。——《后汉书·杜根传》. 发露=坦白。

lol. machine translated chinese often is silly nonsense. If you goto Wikipedia on general AI Artificial general intelligence u see several people defines a test. I'll add one. We got general AI when it can translate Chinese properly.

How to Increase Your Vocabulary

today's words: pinnacle, harbinger, expunge, impudicity, gonzo, sectarian, surreptitiously, fusillade, foist, inimical GRE Words #xahwords

ICE Resin Opals, Crystal Opal

there is such a thing ICE Resin Opals, Crystal Opal on amazon apparently, opal is “a hydrated amorphous form of silica (SiO2·nH2O)” and used in jewerly or something. Opal do people spray it onto walls or something? #xahpop

what becomes of autumn leaves?

it's autumn again, leaves all over pavements. What if nobody sweep them up? well, they become dirt, or soil.

hedonism and epicureanism

And this holiday season stuff of normality is upon us again. your job, is BUY https://amzn.to/2Bvh76R Empower urself with material pleasure. Little gadgets to enhance your happiness, Drugs to increase well being, watches to shine your status. Pleasantries you deserve and can afford.

canker sores

the wonders of modern medical science, with virtual realities et al, have not resolved the cause of Aphthous ulcer or, canker sores. when i was young, i had it often. but basically never after 40

when you live with chinese from china or taiwan, everyday, you'll hear terms such as Shang Huo (上火) or 补 (“nurturing blood/chi”) food. these chinese medicine concepts about diet is instilled in the brain.

here's Wikipedia on Traditional Chinese medicine Traditional Chinese medicine its kinda pseudo science, but remember, no worse than say, California's yoga zen fad or American's vitamins and nutritional supplements fad. U ask for placebo, u get it

when thinking about the ills of Traditional Chinese medicine to chinese in china or taiwan, well, it's probably better than, say, McDonnald's supersize do to Americans and drug corp's instillation on you of it. now, take this pill, and have a good night.

a literal mile stone

Milestone Knightsbridge London 6d9c7
Milestone Knightsbridge London image source

Romans put a stone marking distances from Rome every mile.

echelon. An echelon of them. Word of the day

“An echelon of J-20 fighters are seen at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province, Nov. 11, 2018, commemorating the 69th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Air Force.”

pics https://twitter.com/CCTV/status/1061800837192794112

Word of the day is docile

and there is this thing. you feed it to your cat, and she becomes docile https://amzn.to/2D9w3J6

todo. find pages that doesn't have side panel, add them

Analytic Languages vs Synthetic Languages

China Dollar Bill Multi-Lingual

Etymology of Drum, Disk, Cylinder

Chinese Character Tattoo, Good or Bad?

Lojban Vocabulary

Accent Marks: Trema, Umlaut, Macron, Circumflex

flatland section 4 2018-10-24 e736c

FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions

English dialects, mutually unintelligible

Lawmakers burst into laughter after Conservative MP Paul Beresford asks Scottish SNP's David Linden to speak slowly as he is left befuddled by his Scottish accent.


to read

The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade By Edgar Allan Poe

litany against fear

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

from Dune Dune

sucker punch

sucker punch, is punching someone in a sneaky, unexpected, undeclared way, like, coward's punch this video shows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1mIN92XYBk that guy, went to jail for 4 months, and later killed a friend, is in jail to 2033.

not sure when did the phrase came to be. apparently there's a movie named Sucker Punch buy Sucker Punch starring pretty white chicks, with swords and guns in ninja plus nz land

which word came first: algorithm, procedure, formula

quiz. which word came earlier?

quiz. which word came earlier?

vote https://twitter.com/xah_lee/status/1048658604784418816

Inn Of Sixth Happiness 1958 d2c55
Inn Of Sixth Happiness 1958 Buy at amazon

Inn Of Sixth Happiness

Disappearance of Tiffany Daniels

swimming in ocean and you don't know salt exist

the info world is so big, if u don't specifically look for something, you thought it didn't exist. I go to lib daily in 1990s. Thought i knew every cranny, what type of book lie where. Until, you have a subject, and wow, all the books you never knew existed.

context: #Wingsuit pilots fly through moving targets in Saturday's contest at 2018 World Wingsuit Championship in China's Zhangjiajie https://twitter.com/Echinanews/status/1041408947037581313

It's similar to when you get into a new programing language. Some 5 years ago, i started to learn ruby. And, wow, i didn't know there are so many websites that i've never seen. And communities, celebrities, stories.

#台风山竹 #Mangkhut and #Jebi both seems worse than hurricane #Florence

Typhoon Mangkhut in China. looks like we have cyclone all over now. #台风山竹 Typhoon #Mangkhut in China, Typhoon Jebi in Japan, Hurricane #Florence in US.

here's #台风山竹 tag on twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/%E5%8F%B0%E9%A3%8E%E5%B1%B1%E7%AB%B9?src=hash

Hurricane and Typhoon are the same thing, just diff name, around USA or in Asia. The etymology of Typhoon (台风 颱風) may actually came from Greek Typhon, a serpentine giant who fought Zeus for supremacy of the cosmos but lost.

this guy, knows linguistics. Watch this 3 parts intro on Japanese. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcdYKxHT8kY Japanese writing system, is truly the most complicated.

how English was pronunced in ~1600.

Shakespeare: Original pronunciation (The Open University)
What Shakespeare's English Sounded Like - and how we know

the idiocy of Iambic Pentameter

Iambic pentameter, is the most idiotic thing in English. Back in early 1990s, i tried to understand it, but never did. Today, info is ripe. I read Wikipedia, understand it in 5 min. English, can't rime, period. you just have alliteration and the like.

here's Iambic Pentameter:

Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms;
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title with your swords.

from opening of Shakespeare's Titus “Titus Andronicus” Act 1 Scene 1

the problem with English “meter” is that, you scholastically dissect lines into “meters”. but in no practical sense they rime. you cut words into two parts, read them in a strange way, in order to say it rimes.

The typa poems that actually rime, are things like limerick, with alliteration n assononance. The proper definition of rime, is that it rolls off ya tongue. In this sense, rap is kinda rime. Now, that's vulgar.

On Saturn the sexes are three,
A nuisance, I think you'll agree.
 For performing 'con brio'
 you must have a trio,
While it even takes two for a pee.


The steel and glass house was commissioned by Edith Farnsworth, M.D., a prominent Chicago nephrologist , as a place where she could engage in her hobbies — playing the violin, translating poetry, and enjoying nature

Farnsworth House

news from the astro belt. #pluto ♇ is loved again as planet. Astrology Symbols 🌛 Astrology Symbols 🌛 #unicode

freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior

i just learned, in today's universities, they don't say freshmen anymore. The problem, lies in the men, of course. It's now first year students. So, freshpeople? that doesn't sound right. Sophomore, junior, senior, i suppose stays put. #xahwords

Sophomore came from sophism, meaning specious but fallacious argument devised for purposes of deceit or to exercise one's ingenuity. Or Greek sophos “wise” + moros “foolish”.

[etymology of Sophomore https://www.etymonline.com/word/Sophomore]

Word Frequency in Titus Andronicus

chlamydia gonerrhea syphilis

chlamydia gonerrhea syphilis. Each is hard to pronounce, hard to type, hard to spell.

there is a word for that: poetic

word of the day: facile desiderata ineffable

admit I was never truly facile in the language. So I abandoned the idea.

We wrote on the white board a bunch of stuff that we wanted, desiderata if you will.

But you can't take out everything. You need building blocks such as an idea about how types behave, and syntax that works well in practice, and some ineffable thing that makes libraries interoperate well.

from [on golang, less is exponentially more By Rob Pike. At https://commandcenter.blogspot.com/2012/06/less-is-exponentially-more.html ]

better nav panel for the following

#xahwords today are: Marvelous and Luscious. Mario Sisters Cosplay

today's #xahwords is: lugubrious. Latin lugubris “mournful, doleful, pertaining to mourning,” from lugere “to mourn,” from PIE root *leug- “to break; to cause pain” (Greek lygros “mournful, sad,” Sanskrit rujati “breaks, torments,” Lettish lauzit “to break the heart”). Yeah.

usage example: lugubriousness has done me.

now, in the name of English, i will inaugurate the commencement of sleeping.

why do river meander

river meander 2018-08-12 66264
river meander 2018-08-12 66264

apparently, they don't have a Chinese proofreader 三月月湖 upside down, and i'm not sure that's the correct Chinese term.

the correct Chinese term is 河迹湖. Wikipedia at Oxbow lake the YouTube video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a3r-cG8Wic

he is a purveyor of beauty and discretion, both equally important

game of thrones words: promontory, hoodwink

Casterly Rock is the ancestral stronghold of House Lannister. It is located on the Western coast of Westeros on a rocky promontory overlooking the Sunset Sea.

According to legend, Casterly Rock was found and held by House Casterly after its founder slew a pair of fearsome lions that lived in the gold-filled subterranean cave where the castle would be built upon. They were hoodwinked into giving the Rock to Lann the Clever, a legendary trickster and ancestor of House Lannister, thousands of years ago, during the Age of Heroes.

2018-08-03 from http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Casterly_Rock

简体繁體字表; List of Simplified/Traditional Chinese Characters

word of the day: glance

Jaime briefly rallies a group of archers to target Daenerys as she dives again (riding the dragon Drogon), hoping to kill her and leave her forces leaderless, but Drogon pulls up sharply and the arrows glance harmlessly off his scales.

2018-07-29 from http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Daenerys_Targaryen

#xahword of the day: fractious, conscription, mustered, buffed, belligerent, caricatures, pompous, bombastic.

Movie “300” and Battle of Thermopylae

at the speed of light, my dick becomes a disk, i rushed back in time, bid for my fly back.

thagomizer 6223e

in terms of English, it called salient points.


today's lexicon is fear and trepidation.

D.B. Cooper jumped out of a plane with $200,000 cash in 1971 – and he's never been found

“This has been a cover up, they're stonewalling,” Colbert told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He believes that the FBI protected Rackstraw because he was involved in numerous classified units during the war and may have worked for the CIA. “This is an old fashioned scandal,” he said. (A rep for FBI's Seattle field office told Rolling Stone that they have received “an immense number” of tips over the years, but “none to date have resulted in a definitive identification of the hijacker.” They did not respond to a request for comment on whether the FBI stonewalled an investigation into Rackstraw.)

[D.B. Cooper: Investigators Claim They've Discovered Skyjacker's Identity By Amelia Mcdonell-Parry. At https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/d-b-cooper-investigators-claim-theyve-discovered-skyjackers-identity-693912/ ]

See also Wikipedia D. B. Cooper

See also:

#xahwords: stonewalling. “In March of this year, they charged in a letter published in Microwave News that these attempts were met with stonewalling and foot-dragging.” 1999, wired. Vocabulary: Combination Words

Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World

By the way, basically all movies or comics of Gulliver is completely misleading of the book's nature. Its nature, is offensiveness, misanthropy.

Dogs Bark, Cats Meow, Horses Neigh, and Hyena?

English Vocabulary: Animalistic Cries (Onomatopoeia)

“Some I recognized as a kind of hypertrophied raspberry and orange, but for the most part they were strange”

Time Machine: Chapter IV

How to Increase Your Vocabulary

Quora's Future

The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.


In the interest of full disclosure, I must relate that I own a bunch of HP and Agilent doodads. Mostly, I like all of them, too.

Writer's Words, More

Ulysses, etc.

By nature, he was a scattershot writer, scribbling on scraps of paper, composing in notebooks and revising excerpts after they appeared in magazines — and in 1922, when “Ulysses” first appeared, all that chaos was botched into print by French typesetters, most of whom spoke no English. That flawed version was banned in America, so a notorious pornographer, Sam Roth, rushed into print a pirated and even more corrupt edition. What had riled the censors (and attracted the vanguard readers) were a few scenes in “Ulysses” where women indulge sexual fantasies.

Not a few paragraphs later, Kidd called out a slew of new mistakes and then guffawed, “Is no one awake at the wheel?” The piece carried on like this, as the tone gathered more of this vernacular force. After another volley of attacks about a misspelling here, a single dropped letter there, it read: “The Corrected Text is marbled with the fat of such pseudo-restorations from shoulder to shank.”

Responding in a subsequent issue, Gabler maintained a stiff, dismissive stance. “The scanty array of examples,” he wrote, “provides not even the flimsiest of foundations for a critique, let alone a condemnation.” Kidd was permitted to reply in the same issue, and his rebuttal preened with unforgiving attitude. After challenging Gabler on substance, he slipped into mischievous singsong: “Irony abounds. What redounds to Dr. Kidd rebounds. On several grounds, it sounds, he's out of bounds.”

[The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar (John Kidd) By Jack Hitt. At https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/magazine/the-strange-case-of-the-missing-joyce-scholar.html ]

Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass (added nav panel on the side)

Vocabulary: Combination Words

Hyphenated Words

English Accents. updated index.

Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese

here's chinese text, first 2 paragraphs on Chinese Wikipedia's article on keyboard.

highlighted words are characters that are in Japanese (i.e. kanji).

so, this gives a picture what Japanese can understand whan seeing Chinese.

鍵盤是指经过系统安排操作一台机器或设备的一组主要功能輸入資料。电脑鍵盤是电脑的外设之一,由打字机鍵盤发展而来。通过鍵盤可以输入字符,也可以控制电脑的运行。依照鍵盤上的按鍵數,可分為101和104兩種,而104個按鍵盤又稱為Windows 95鍵盤


on the other hand, when Chinese read Japanese, all the kanji Chinese can understand. It's easy to tell, because kanji are those complicated characters.

the purpose of this, is to answer the curiosity, that whether chinese can understand more Japanese, or the other way around.

similar question is, whether Spanish can read Portuguese better or the other way.

Intro to Chinese Punctuation

The dictionary bundled with macOS sucks donkey ass. American Heritage Dictionary vs New Oxford American Dictionary

A Modest Proposal (by Jonathan Swift)

behold a pale horse

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.


behold a pale horse (1964), movie. Buy at amazon

Based on the real-life exploits of Francisco Sabater, this is the story of a Spanish guerrilla living in exile in France and still leading raids on Spain, long after the Spanish Civil War has ended. An elaborate trap is set for him by a vicious police chief, using his mother and a priest as bait.


Spanish Civil War

history of alphabet

evolution of alphabet 88012
evolution of alphabet [from https://usefulcharts.com/blogs/charts/evolution-of-the-english-alphabet]
history of alphabet

Poem: The Bell Tolls for Thee; 鐘為汝鳴

The Arabian Nights

“Oppression hideth in every heart: power revealeth it and weakness concealeth it.”

from The Tale of the Wazir and the Sage Duban

of all literature i've read in my life, 2 most enjoyable are Shakespeare's stuff and Arabian Nights of Sir Richard Burton.

arabian nights 93255
The Arabian Nights
arabian nights 71404
Synopsis of Tales of Sir Richard Burton's Arabian Nights

Q: What to do if someone is bugging you?
A: Growl.

Q: What to do if you disapprove?
A: Hiss.

English Vocabulary: Animalistic Cries (Onomatopoeia)

To Build a Fire

the Story of Cupid and Psyche. classic. #ValentinesDay ♥

[The Shallowness of Google Translate By Douglas Hofstadter. At https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/01/the-shallowness-of-google-translate/551570/ ]

Light Bulb Color, Soft White vs Daylight

Cultural References Lost in Movie Subtitles




English translation:

you can say you want to quit learning yangqin,
but it's not up to you.


it guided you to this world
you've been together for 11 years
you are destined to be together
you may not want it
but you are all its got.

talk to your yangqin.
if it agrees, then that's it
i won't object

from 闪光少女 (Our Shining Days), Cosplay Culture, and Chinese vs Western Music

when doing translations, there's a tricky business. There's literal translation, and at the other extreme is translation by the intended meaning, subsuming context, which may have NOTHING to do with the words uttered. (called “pragmatics” in linguistics)

In most “good” translations, eg big movie's subtitle, the latter is done. By that, you can readily enjoy foreign films, but you are completely robbed from seeing how Chinese say things, and any cultural references are necessarily removed.

here's a more literal translation:

you don't want to learn yangqin anymore
but what you say doesn't count


because it guided you to the world
together for 11 years
it's your karma of reincarnation
now you don't want him anymore
but he has feelings for you

talk to him.
if he agrees, no need to tell mom
mom has no opinion on this

Note the word “karma” and “reincarnation” used. If you are a nerd hipster, you probably knew what it means. But to most English speakers, it's a blank.

It fact, the actual word used is 缘分 (“yuanfen” in English), and Chinese language colloquial usage actually don't have or use the word “karma”.

If you are a Chinese, you would hear and use word 缘分 yuanfen, several times a month, thru out your life. It's a Chinese folk concept tied to bddhism and taoism. It is applied to relationships.

缘分 yuanfen means:

Japan Net Jargon: “2D World”

in Japan, China, there's net jargon of “2D world”, meaning, the world of anime. i.e. idealized, fantasy, unrealistic. Many anime fans (what westerners'd call gamers), is said to live in 2d. As opposed to 3d world, real world. This is analogous to @SecondLife gamers of USA.

This award-winning movie from China, is a depiction of such youngsters in that world.

闪光少女 (Our Shining Days), Cosplay Culture, and Chinese vs Western Music

Lesson of the widow's mite

He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

Lesson of the widow's mite

The Tempest


  1. governed by conscience; controlled by or done according to one's inner sense of what is right; principled: She's a conscientious judge, who does not let personal prejudices influence her decisions.
  2. careful and painstaking; particular; meticulous; scrupulous: conscientious application to the work at hand.

that's the dictionary definition.

Apparently, the word has a particular meaning in psychology, different from dictionary meaning. Its meaning focuses on fulfilling obligation, duty, disciplined, dependable.

Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being careful, or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well, and to take obligations to others seriously. Conscientious people tend to be efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly. They exhibit a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; they display planned rather than spontaneous behavior; and they are generally dependable. It is manifested in characteristic behaviors such as being neat and systematic; also including such elements as carefulness, thoroughness, and deliberation (the tendency to think carefully before acting.)[1] Conscientiousness is one of the five traits of both the Five Factor Model and the HEXACO model of personality and is an aspect of what has traditionally been referred to as having character. Conscientious individuals are generally hard-working and reliable. They are also likely to be conformists.[2] When taken to an extreme, they may also be “workaholics”, perfectionists, and compulsive in their behavior.[3] People who score low on conscientiousness tend to be laid back, less goal-oriented, and less driven by success; they also are more likely to engage in antisocial and criminal behavior.[4]


Google Doodle is showing the pinyin inventor Zhou Youguang (周有光), died today. 111 years old.

During the Cultural Revolution, Zhou was sent to live in the countryside and to be “re-educated”, as were many other intellectuals at that time. He spent two years at a labour camp.

this book, is epic, but is $360. It's by Zhou Youguang. The Historical Evolution of Chinese Languages and Scripts

简体繁體字表; List of Simplified/Traditional Chinese Characters (minor update)

Decoding English: “I'm not at liberty to say” = i won't say. I can't say. I'm not allowed to say.

Xah's Log, 2018-01-10, I Met a Beautiful Girl.

The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov, classic novel, on amazon kindle is now $10. More and more expensive. Kindle edition used to be $4 or such. Also note, this is public domain text, you can download from the web.

The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov (Russian: Бра́тья Карама́зовы, Brat'ya Karamazovy, pronounced [ˈbratʲjə kərɐˈmazəvɨ]), also translated as The Karamazov Brothers, is the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky spent nearly two years writing The Brothers Karamazov, which was published as a serial in The Russian Messenger from January 1879 to November 1880. Dostoyevsky died less than four months after its publication.

The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th-century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, judgment, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia, with a plot which revolves around the subject of patricide. Dostoyevsky composed much of the novel in Staraya Russa, which inspired the main setting.[1] Since its publication, it has been acclaimed as one of the supreme achievements in world literature.

2017-12-15 Wikipedia The Brothers Karamazov

translational poetry, the world consumed by fire and ice

some say the world will be consumed by fire, some say ice. My understanding of desire, agrees with fire. But if consummate twice, i think i understand hatred well too and know ice's power is also bottomless.

translational poetry.

烈 火滅。但如果世界得滅
夠 會        它
也 為 ,有人說在冰 個
, 認 滅    裡 兩
底 的 裡 有人 。 回
得 人 火  說 就 ,
了 些 在會界世 我 我
是 那      對 想
也 意同我解了的慾欲 我
力          對

source https://twitter.com/xah_lee/status/937541505652105216

一笑万古春,一啼万古愁。(one smile spring comes, one cry the valley echos) sometimes, a poetic language like chinese, solves the human expression problem. While, a logical language like English, tries.

Etymology of Provincial and Insular

growth hacking, a new euphemism, meaning, aggressive, abusive, psychology exploiting, tactics for online marketing to grow a business.

word of the day: conviviality

I found Cohen a good listener, but a less interesting thinker, possessed of that relentless conviviality that routinely afflicts career generalists and Rhodes scholars.

from https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/

prosumer, what a hateful word.

consumptive: relating to or affected with tuberculosis.

Time Machine: Chapter III

etymology of slate

mid-14c., from Old French esclate, fem. of esclat “split piece, splinter” (Modern French éclat; see slat), so called because the rock splits easily into thin plates. As an adjective, 1510s. As a color, first recorded 1813. Sense of “a writing tablet” (made of slate), first recorded late 14c., led to that of “list of preliminary candidates prepared by party managers,” first recorded 1842, from notion of being easily altered or erased. Clean slate (1856) is an image from customer accounts chalked up in a tavern.

[etymology of slate https://www.etymonline.com/word/slate]

etymology of slab

late 13c., “large, flat mass,” of unknown origin, possibly related to Old French escopel, escalpe “thin fragment of wood,” which according to Klein is possibly a Gaulish word (compare Breton scolp, Welsh ysgolp “splinter, chip”). But OED rejects this on formal grounds. Meaning “rectangular block of pre-cast concrete used in building” is from 1927. Slab-sided is “having flat sides like slabs,” hence “tall and lank” (1817, American English).

[etymology of slab https://www.etymonline.com/word/slab]

shoe size measures f5c74
shoe size measures f5c74

be my first patreon

now i have a patreon account. be my first patreon. see first post at https://www.patreon.com/xahlee

Pinyin 拼音, Zhuyin 注音, IPA Comparison (updated)

Segmented Sleep and Sleep Hours/Schedule Experiment

i've experimented with sleep hours and schedule since 1991. And my current sleep hours remain ephemeral.

Sometimes i sleep twice a day, 4 hours each.

Usually, my sleep hours shifts by 1 hour per day. For example, if today i sleep at 1, next day i sleep at 2, and next day i sleep at 3.

been doing these since 1991. In the first decade or two, when i was young, the intention is to reduce total hours slept.

but as i'm older, now, it's basically chaotic life habit. I sleep, when i'm tired.

of course, you can't do this if you are not a free man.

here's 2 books i found.

[At Day's Close: Night in Times Past By A Roger Ekirch. At Buy at amazon ]

“Remarkable…Ekirch has emptied night's pockets, and laid the contents out before us.” ―Arthur Krystal, The New Yorker

Bringing light to the shadows of history through a “rich weave of citation and archival evidence” (Publishers Weekly), scholar A. Roger Ekirch illuminates the aspects of life most often overlooked by other historians―those that unfold at night. In this “triumph of social history” (Mail on Sunday), Ekirch's “enthralling anthropology” (Harper's) exposes the nightlife that spawned a distinct culture and a refuge from daily life.

Fear of crime, of fire, and of the supernatural; the importance of moonlight; the increased incidence of sickness and death at night; evening gatherings to spin wool and stories; masqued balls; inns, taverns, and brothels; the strategies of thieves, assassins, and conspirators; the protective uses of incantations, meditations, and prayers; the nature of our predecessors' sleep and dreams―Ekirch reveals all these and more in his “monumental study” (The Nation) of sociocultural history, “maintaining throughout an infectious sense of wonder” (Booklist).

[Evening's Empire (New Studies in European History) By Craig Koslofsky. At Buy at amazon ]

What does it mean to write a history of the night? Evening's Empire is a fascinating study of the myriad ways in which early modern people understood, experienced, and transformed the night. Using diaries, letters, and legal records together with representations of the night in early modern religion, literature and art, Craig Koslofsky opens up an entirely new perspective on early modern Europe. He shows how princes, courtiers, burghers and common people 'nocturnalized' political expression, the public sphere and the use of daily time. Fear of the night was now mingled with improved opportunities for labour and leisure: the modern night was beginning to assume its characteristic shape. Evening's Empire takes the evocative history of the night into early modern politics, culture and society, revealing its importance to key themes from witchcraft, piety, and gender to colonization, race, and the Enlightenment.

Third World Blind

word of the day: atavistic, predicated, cross-talk, banality

There may be an atavistic longing for quasi-divine kingship that surfaces in unsettled times. Especially after 9/11, with its diffuse sense of peril, we should beware of the seductive dream of the strong man or clan who will shield us from harm. Democracy is predicated on sometimes chaotic cross-talk, not on governance by fiat, the whims of a hereditary elite.

Political dynasties are mythic foster families whose princes rise and fall like flaming stars. Does it signify democracy’s nostalgia for royalty? The irony is that authentic royalty, re-glamorized by Diana in the 1980s, has waned back into banality in England and everywhere else.

[Our failed political dynasties, Pelosi's stylish appeal and George W. Bush as Queen Victoria. Plus: The hot air about global warming. By Camille Paglia. At http://www.salon.com/2007/04/11/global_warming_14/ , accessed on 2017-05-17 ]

Classic Paglia, u no unstand!

The Adventure of the German Student (added illustration)

The Arabian Nights (updated intro)

Arabian Nights Art Gallery

“whatso woman willeth, the same she fulfilleth, however man nilleth. ” from Story Of King Shahryar And His Brother

rereading arabian nights. truly a wonderful story. I spent a year annotating it in 2005. Story Of King Shahryar And His Brother

The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade By Edgar Allan Poe (added artwork)

Vocabulary In Too Much Too Soon

English: Etymology of Science

coöperation and preëxisting! the art of diaeresis.

Oscar Wilde's Tomb and Quips

Definition of Fascism, But is it Left-Wing or Right-Wing?

The Masque of the Red Death (added many illustrations)

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Tristram Shandy

[Talking in Euphemisms Can Chip Away at Your Sense of Morality By Laura Niemi, Alek Chakroff, And Liane Young. At http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/04/indirect-speech-talking-in-euphemisms.html , accessed on 2017-04-12 ]

Etymology of Sinister and Dexterity

word of the day: acquiescing. see Word of the Day

word of the day: • beguiling • patchwork • floundering

see Word of the Day

word of the day: • galvanized • pugnacious • relishes • muckraker • facile

see Word of the Day

简体繁體字表; List of Simplified/Traditional Chinese Characters

Hegel and the Girls

hegel and girls 07040
[image source twitter ]

Zelda, Breath of the Wild, Inscriptions

Orthography, narrowly, means correct spelling according to established usage. Broadly, It includes capitalization, word breaks, emphasis, punctuation.

English Writing Style: Oxford Comma and Strippers (repost)

Alaeddin; Or, The Wonderful Lamp (new navigation bar)

The Tragedy Of Titus Andronicus (new navigation bar)

Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass (new navigation bar)

The Time Machine by H G Wells (also updated with nav bar. Added more pictures.)

FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Classic scifi. Make you understand 4 dimensions by analogy. Now new navbar.

神奇的二维国 中文版.(Flatland Chinese version). 神奇的二维国 (Flatland)

Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. New navigation bar.

西游记 (Journey To The West) (page redesigned)

How to Tell the Difference Between Chinese, Japanese, Korean? (updated)

China Dollar Bill Multi-Lingual

the Story of Cupid and Psyche, by Lucius Apuleius (~123 to 180). Classic story.

“Paglia presents herself as a willing academic pariah

SAT Words

Etymology of Drum, Disk, Cylinder

books on writing you liked?

what are some of books on writing? any related to writing, style, grammar, words, linguistics, etc. Suggest away. must be you've read.

comment at:



English: Etymology of “label” and “legend”

poignantly train your dragon
poignantly train your dragon

see SAT Words

etymology of manual: manus = hand. Handbook.

[etymology of manual https://www.etymonline.com/word/manual]

Arabian Nights, The Tale Of The Ensorceled Prince

Arrival, Movie 2016

Chinese Text 瘟疫論 (On Plague Dieases), 1642. beginning of bacteria/virus study. https://zh.wikisource.org/zh/瘟疫論_(四庫全書本)

amazing that Chinese text thousand years back we can still understand some 60% sans training. this has significant impact on culture.

Etymology of Parenthesis and Bracket

Wordy Blog Archive

wordy english