Disorder of a Man of Letters — Xah's Belles-lettres
from the haughty emotions of English lexicon, stylistic concerns, decipherment of grammar and idioms, linguisticality, literature, and logicality.
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.
〔Has the Internet Killed Curly Quotes? By Glenn Fleishman. @ https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/12/quotation-mark-wars/511766/〕
on betterment of technical writing with a creative streak
today's wandering in humanity.
on betterment of technical writing with a creative streak.
unless you don't know kindergarten grammar, when anyone tell you about grammar, spit.
if you want to improve your technical writing exposition skill in written English, study logic and linguistics.
there's 2 parts to writing. 1, the content, 2 the presentation. The content part is much more important. You've got something to say, and solid about the subject matter. This is intrinsic, and you really have to have this before writing. But the topic of writing, is about the skill of presentation per se. Most writing guide is shallow on this, focus on tradition and convention, on grammar, on punctuation, on diction, on sentence length, etc. But the most important part, for technical writing, is the ability to understand the logic and linguistics aspects of what you put down. That means clarity and precision. For example, the oft used advice of “active voice”, rather do nothing to help precision and clarity of your exposition.
here's some random creative essays.
Haven't watched TV since 2000. Don't have one. Ditch it. Good for your understanding of the world.
tongue is amazing. it can find a tiny piece of bone and manipulate it out of your mouth. that's massive parallel computation.
chess, prodigy, art of learning
this guy Josh Waitzkin, chess national champion, then became international tai chi chaimpion. wrote a book 〈The Art of Learning〉 2008 amazon
it's interesting guy, but i don't necessary endorse the book. lots of this sort of books are garbage, pretty much by definition.
so, books of this ilk, and ted talks and hacker news stuff, are the things idiotic programrs chant abut all day, day and night.
there are only 2 good type of books. fiction, and college text books.
acclaimed movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. 1993. about young chess prodigy Joshua Waitzkin amazon now it's 23 years.
Bobby Fisher didn't get a dime, nor asked for permission of his fame. Bobby died a bitter man in 2008.
Joshua Waitzkin didn't become word's best players of chess. But he went on to also become international champion of tai chi push hands competition.
most prodigies, did not become the greats in history.
here's list of greatest chess players and their rating. List of chess players by peak FIDE rating
note that, the best, is Magnus Carlsen, with rating of 2882.
but computer chess, has rating over 3200. Chess engine#Chess engine rating lists
today, any computer will beat any human, anytime, practically speaking.
note that chess player speaks of playing style. Actually, playing style is a phenomenon of sub-optimal move. Mathematically speaking, most of the time there is just 1 correct move.
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.
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”
This is a story, where human animals are bred and eaten, by other human animals.
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)
Xah Wordy English (home page redesign)
new navigation panel.
new navigation panel.
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new navigation panel on the side.
Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer.
Sorcerer, daughter, illusion, The Tempest…
The Tempest Sorcerer, daughter, illusion, tempest… Does charm my way. 😈
This song by Laurie Anderson
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
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.)).
British accent, “i'm not fat and gutty”
“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.
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