Posts tagged as:

vocabulary lessons

The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

November 5, 2013

The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart How astonishing it is that language can almost mean, and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say, God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according to which nation. French has no word for […]

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Does our language shape our thought?

April 9, 2013

Toward the end of the first chapter of Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories and the City, Pamuk breaks away from a description of events surrounding his birth and says this: I feel compelled to add or so I’ve been told. In Turkish we have a special tense that allows us to distinguish hearsay from what we’ve […]

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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen; Alan Garner, 1960

December 17, 2011

Christopher Middleton, in The Telegraph, tells you anything you might need to know about The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, and talks with Alan Garner and other writers about the effect it’s had on over 50 years of readers and writers. I will add this, though Middleton mentions it: most claustrophobic scene in all of fiction! Well, […]

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Life, death, and French

February 2, 2011

A month seems long enough to be silent, a strange month turning on the multifarious spokes of the wheel of life. Death, coming to people we think too young to die—we, with our secret hopes of long, fulfilling lives, of seeing our grandchildren and great-grandchildren be born. And birth, which can come earlier than it […]

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Underwriter’s knot

December 20, 2010

Ms. Fix-It is at it again, working on a broken lamp this time, and in the process I learned how to tie an “underwriter’s knot.” I’ve scoured the web to learn why it might be called this, to no avail. My best guess is this: if you tie this knot, used in both light sockets […]

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