ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Alas, it is 21 volumes long, so not practical for me to read.  But I am happy that it exists.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
 Using biology to study folklore to study sociogeography.  I love how science sticks to itself!  This is like a hot fudge brownie delight of scientific goodness.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the April 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "a gentle fall of rain" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer.

"A Gentle Fall of Rain"

Soft words are like water,
wearing away hard stone
one drop at a time.

People see only the softness,
and do not understand the power.

The gentle art of verbal self-defense
is like aikido, all circles and spirals
of swirling words to deflect attacks.

People hear only the circumlocution,
and not the bell-song of the shield in action.

Practicing nonviolent language is like
standing outside in a gentle fall of rain,
a study of tenderness and cleansing.

People feel only the raindrops,
and not the sun lifting the sea into the sky.

But it is there, it is there, it is all there --
one word, one language, one thought,
each shaping the other into infinite complexities.

People do not need to understand these things
in order for them to work.

* * *


The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Suzette Haden Elgin is the leading resource on nonviolent communication.  See some examples online.  It's potent stuff.

Aikido is a martial art based on circles.  Like other peacemongering skills -- and like the mage in D&D -- it looks pointless at low levels and becomes freaking unstoppable  at high levels.  Also, it was officially started  by a man with superpowers. So if you want to gain superpowers and are willing to spend a few decades on that project, this is a good choice.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a fascinating look at the evolution of Italy and its languages, including the spillover of mostly-southern-Italian immigrants into America.

Over in Terramagne, you can see how this influences some of the main characters.  Ham, as part of the Damask collective, has a Sicilian grandfather.  So Ham has a very Italian-American flavor of expression.

The Marionettes as a Family have spread throughout much of Italy, and beyond, but their highest concentration remains in the southerly parts -- Sicilia, Calabria, Puglia, and so forth -- whose regional differences contribute to the cultural flavor.  T-Italy is less assimiliated but more tolerant than local-Italy.  It's more common for people to speak a regional dialect as their home language and keep Standard Italian for public or official discourse.  I've caught a few instances of my Marionettes codeswitching not only between English and Italian, which they do a lot, but also into Sicilian, which they pretty much restrict to people they consider family.  This little extra bit of flexibility is also why Italy has one of the more integrated soup cultures -- there are more than a few soups on the police force, mostly strongmen and speedsters -- and the Mob conflict is a periodic nuisance rather than a culture-wrecking disaster.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I am all asquee over this bit of linguistic news that archaic words are regaining crowd appeal.  Why?  Because it's a triangulation point helping to confirm my hypothesis that the frame has popped off and English is in one of its phases of rapid evolution, like the Great Vowel Shift.  Whenever that happens, there's a big uptick in archaic resurgence because as the language retools itself, people check the attic for things that might be usable to fill gaps they're finding that inspired such a major change in the first place.  It's a time when the usual rules are suspended enough to permit drastic revisions of practice.  So you see certain words appearing and disappearing from common use, like skipping a stone across a lake, if you track them out over centuries.

*chuckle*  Slightly marred by those of us whose farmemory and taste in literature have always led us to use "alas" as an everyday word.
ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
This is the freebie for the October Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] alexseanchai, and [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "Festivals and Celebrations" square in my 10-2-15 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest and the "music" square in my 9-4-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some of these predate the internet even in their slang usage, although social networks have greatly spread the usage. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This study showed how names influence imagination

I've always annoyed people trying to apply these tests, because I stop with, "I don't know anything more about that person.  All you've given me is a name.  That doesn't contain the information you're asking for."  Or a picture.  Or whatever.  Because it could be boy named Sue or a white Irish kid named Javier.

Sometimes when I'm naming characters they just tell me.  Sometimes I go looking for things that match.  I like using ethnic names because it's a chance for wider representation.  I often look up the demographics of a region to find locally common names and ethnic groups.  But every once in a while they do something off-pattern, like sex-swapped names, or the Louisiana woman who started screaming curses in Italian.

Assumptions are bug spots that'll stop you from seeing what's really in front of you.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So this is one way to represent the sounds of humpback whale songs.  Doubtless someone is doing this over in Terramagne too.  Just ignore the humanocentric reference to this being "almost like" a language.  0_o
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for the September Creative Jam, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] zianuray.

"Truth vs. Reality"
-- a desert poem

Between truth and reality
lies all that is, a contradiction
that completes creation.

Some things are true but not real.

What you cannot see may
still be so in its secret self.

There is knowledge that lies
within us, not out in the world.

Some things are real but not true.

What you can touch with your hands
may tell lies to your fingertips.

The shape of the body does not
always match the shape of the soul.

Only by learning to embrace
the contradiction can we
perceive the whole.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] redsixwing has a thoughtful post about "impossible colors" and how they are not actually impossible but just places where our tools -- whether linguistic or mechanical -- break down.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the August 4, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "dancing" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... from the Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger

As the article suggests, some of these were probably jokes, while others may have been power names from a sacred clown.  But there's another possibility not mentioned.  In a culture without jails, people need a way to discipline those who misbehave; and when their language uses descriptive names, it's an obvious way.  In many tribes, one horribly foolish, hilariously memorable moment can saddle you with a name that may take decades to get rid of.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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