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.

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.

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).

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:

https://twitter.com/xah_lee/status/836384960386740225

https://plus.google.com/+XahLee/posts/Zq5qaA9hgkv

English: Etymology of “label” and “legend”

poignantly train your dragon
poignantly train your dragon

see SAT Words

etymology of manual: manus = hand. Handbook.

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

[• Has the Internet Killed Curly Quotes? By Glenn Fleishman. At https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/12/quotation-mark-wars/511766/ , Accessed on 2016-12-31 ]

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 taichi champion. wrote a book The Art of Learning 2008 Buy The Art of Learning

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 programers 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 Buy Searching for Bobby Fischer 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.

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

The 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

new navigation panel.

Dictionary Review Panel Index

new navigation panel.

Etymology Panel Index

new navigation panel on the side.

Etymology of Flamingo and 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.

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)