Disorder of a Man of Letters — Xah's Belles-lettres

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

english vs chinese, urge to improve

some languages, such as english, u have a urge to make it better, logical, reform. while Chinese, u never thought of replacing art with precision.

lost in euphemism

The United States Congress authorized the construction of Endeavour in 1987 to replace Challenger, which was lost in 1986.

“was lost in 1986” that's a euphemism, for blowing up, in this case.

the writings of amazon reviews

reading amazon reviews's fun, you see the wildest of writing styles, and you wonder, if everyone is so creative. Actually most are simply bad writing.

amazon reviews, are the writing of the grass roots. You witness the pen of teens, toilet toilers, house wives, and college youngsters.

Morlock and Weena Yvette Mimieux
Yvette Mimieux as Weena in Time Machine 1960 film. Time Machine, 1960 film

〈Time Machine〉 by H G Wells

The Time Machine, and the Dark Nature of Human Animals

“The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us”

Time Machine: Chapter I

This is a story, where human animals are bred and eaten, by other human animals.

Morlock by Tatsuya Morino-s
Time Machine's Morlock taking an Eloi child, from the book “Kaibutsu Gensō Gashū” illustrated by Tatsuya Morino.

most illustrations of H G Well's Time Machine show a machanical contraption. This illustration, shows the story.

but uncomfortable pic like this is not marketable. But pic of time contraption, tickles peope.

Time Machine, tells a dark human nature. Similar story is Lord of the Flies. Lord of the Flies

and, then, what's real nature of human animals? we have Biological Anthropologist tell us. Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence

why capitalize author names?

quite annoying that some publications (online) capitalize author names, all parts. like, By XAH LEE. What's the frigging point? ( nytimes.com and wsj.com )

time to dig those style guides. Answer must be there somewhere. But no, no time for those idiotic guides of guilds.

〔➤see The Writing Style of Xah Lee

Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World (added navigation panel)

the Barbarism of Specialization (philosophy) (by Jose Ortega Y Gasset) (updated.)

Xah Wordy English (home page redesign)

Vocabulary Panel Index

new navigation panel.

Words Panel Index

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Dictionary Review Panel Index

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Etymology Panel Index

new navigation panel on the side.

Etymology of Flamingo & Flamboyant

Hendiatris as Rule of Three? and the Crumbling of Linguistica Logica

To Build a Fire, By Jack London, 1908

Tyke, Imp, Waif, and Les Misérables

English Accent: Irish Accent 📺

Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer.


The Tempest

Diane Kruger's French Accent Gets Her Out of Trouble Everytime

Sorcerer, daughter, illusion, The Tempest…

The Tempest Sorcerer, daughter, illusion, tempest… Does charm my way. 😈

This song by Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson — Blue Lagoon

features part of The Tempest called “Ariel's Song” - the place where we got the phrase “sea change”:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

thanks to John Baez. https://plus.google.com/+XahLee/posts/TQXfP4N9HoQ

Shakespeare's Titus, now with navigation panel.

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

  • 1. What am I trying to say?
  • 2. What words will express it?
  • 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
  • 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?”

— George Orwell

see also Politics and the English Language (George Orwell)

etymology of “redoutable”

late 14c., from Old French redoutable (12c.), from redouter "to dread," from re-, intensive prefix, + douter "be afraid of" (see doubt (v.)).


English Vocabulary for SAT, GRE

Julie Taymor's Titus

British accent, “i'm not fat and gutty”

Pizza Problems - taking dumb to a whole new level!

“i'm not fat and gutty”

gutty = 1. an urchin or delinquent 2. a low-class person.

but a friend told me it just means not having a potbelly in the context of the video.

The Arabian Nights (now with side navigation panel)

Alaeddin; Or, The Wonderful Lamp (now with side navigation panel)

Infinite Jest, Auto-Killed

there's a novel named Infinite Jest, 1996, by David Foster Wallace.

In 2005 it was included by Time magazine in its list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.

The author, David Foster Wallace (1962 – 2008), killed himself, at age 46. Reason was depression.

Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace

linguistics, Chinese language, and scifi

who is Ted Chiang?

so, The New Yorker recently ran a article titled Bad Character, by Ted Chiang.

it is a lame repetition on how chinese should be alphabetized.

i was thinking, has The New Yorker gone so low to publish a article of blatant ignorance? Or, as a novelty to its US American readers?

then i thought, perhaps the author, just want to bring up an old topic for thought.

looking up, seems Ted Chiang is a well-known scifi writer. Who's he?

I read 〈War and Peace〉 in 20 minutes.

Sorry, You Can't Speed Read By Jeffrey M Zacks And Rebecca Treiman. @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/opinion/sunday/sorry-you-cant-speed-read.html

and, a decade ago: On Speed Reading