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 & literality, and logicality.

Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer.

omni-powers

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.)).

redoubtable

English Vocabulary Compilation with Usage Examples

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