Jay Lake: Writer

Contact Me Home
>

[language] The poetic text of a recent spam I received

Line breaks by me to emphasize the found poetry aspect

Kindling his annuity,
man would hush resentment on heredity;
and if let them not,
it would opt sheer, he face,
to increase solar thoughtful beings,
than in the influential unavoidable fields.

His pulse has been seen
lurking poorly some particular taunt,
and indefinitely seems
spiritual legend that his nourishment
either is, or will munch,
evidently, under ascend of the blunderbuss.

Tags: ,

[language] Condign motives and ulterior punishments

I love orphaned words. (Not sure what the technical term for this is, chemo brain can’t pull it up.) English is full of them, once you start looking around. Two that leap to mind are “condign” and “ulterior”.

Not much besides punishment can be condign. Ever heard of a condign ham sandwich? Likewise, one can have an ulterior motive, but rarely sees an ulterior diagnosis. There are some limited uses for both words, and of course one can always ironically force a word for stylistic reasons, but mostly these words appear in one and only one place.

What are your favorite examples of this?

Also, bonus word: “preantepenultimate”.

Tags:

[language] Angina and vagina

In my idiolect, “angina” and “vagina” have always rhymed. However, the cardiology team that’s been working on my mother (who presumably know of what they speak) pronounced “angina” with a short, unstressed /i/ in the middle, so instead of “an-j-eye-nah” they say “an-j-in-uh”.

(In case you were wondering about yesterday’s QOTD.)

Tags: ,

[language] Words that Word does not know

From a proposal for a fiction project:

Biafra
Cotonou
Kharkov
São Tomé

Tags:

[language] Parts of speech confusion

O mighty LJ brain, hear my plea. I have confused myself anent matters grammatical.

There’s a construction in English whereby nouns convert to adjectives through being modified with an /-ed/ affix, as if they were verbs being conjugated into the simple past. For example:

one eyed
lop eared
left handed
many splendored
fruited plains
strait jacketed

Most of the examples I can think of are related to body parts or clothing, but not all of them. Some examples can be explained as verb forms (“strait jacketed”), but, for example, I can’t make “lop eared” be a verb in my head.

Why are we conjugating nouns into adjectives? Can someone give me the remedial grammar 101 on this?

Tags:

[language] Can’t sleep, palindromes will eat me

Light sleeper tonight. Not medical issues, more like one of my once-every-week-or-ten-days not quite sleeping heavily. For some reason, my mind has been racing on palindromes. I don’t mean good ones, I mean more along the lines of “Bacon’s town wots no cab.”

Here’s a few others Fred coughed up in the dark:

“O, had I but stub Idaho.”
“Sax Etta at Texas.”
“Some gals slag emos.”
“May drawer reward yam.”
“Emit not on time.”

Each of those has some meaning, if you torture them enough. I also got to thinking about palindromic phrases, such as:

“and DNA”
“race car”
“sward draws”

What does this mean? Heck if I know. I think my story processor blew a vacuum tube or something.

What’s your favorite palindrome?

Tags: ,

[links] Link salad, never never on a Sunday

What philosophy do you follow? — Apparently I am 100% Existentialist and 100% Hedonist, with much lower scores on everything else. Is that even possible?

Ex-planet gets namesakes — Plutoids? Really? (Thanks to lt260.)

How the Romans invented grammarLanguage Log with a (very) brief history of grammar.

Shorpy with a 1902 photo of the Wright flyer

Stephen Hawking: ministers’ £80m error puts science at risk — Money shot: “The notion that scientists will make a more valuable contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of the world if their research is closely directed by politicians is the most astonishing piece of nonsense I have had the misfortune to come across in a long time,” Cox said. Luckily, here in the United States we don’t let political considerations dictate science policy. Oh, wait, never mind. (Hat tip to Bad Astronomy Blog.)

Iraq, the sovereign colony? — Read this and ask yourself if this is how our country should behave. If you’re a conservative who thinks the Iraq War is a key issue and the president should do anything he can despite the Senate, ask yourself how you’d feel about President Obama doing such an end run. We have checks and balances for a reason, and the GOP lost sight of that reason a long time ago.


6/15/08
Time in saddle: 0 minutes (still recovering from surgery)
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 260.6
Currently reading: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia Amazon ]

Tags: , , , ,

[links] Link salad, birthday edition

SF Signal with a make-up Mind Meld featuring me — I bloviate on scientific accuracy in SF.

Bathtub cheese — Mmm. Or maybe not.

Lightning guns — What every homeboy needs.

Charles Taylor’s one wheel experiments — Not exactly a unicycle, but wow…

Sheep flatulence inoculation developed — I can haz less fartz, pleez? (Thanks to .)

How can you fail to read only the word California? — Another fascinating bit on neurolinguistic deficits from Language Log.

Strange Maps with a 1942 New World Order — Rather creepy. Good alternate history stuff, though.

A lot more than you wanted to know about the physics and sociology of traffic — Cool piece, though.

10 airports install body scanners — Security theater goes porno! (Thanks to my Aunt M.)


6/6/08 (my 44th birthday)
Time in saddle: 0 minutes (still recovering from surgery)
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 260.8
Currently reading: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia Amazon ]

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

|