Extinction Symbol. Dark Extropianism. Apocalyptic Witchcraft. Dark Mountain. Uncivilisation. In The Dust Of This Planet. Health Goth. Accelerationism. After Nature/Dark Ecology/Ecognosis. Early signals: The New Nihilism, Speculative Realism, Neoreaction, Occulture. Cusp: Toxic Internet. Post-Westphalian. Developing (if only in my own low-powered head. Picking black flowers early in the day).
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12:00 pm • 15 September 2014 • 39 notes
This week’s Sumerian sign is ĝeš, which means tree or wood. It’s an important sign that was used a lot.
ĝeš is one of a collection of signs that are written but not spoken as silent signifiers of a noun’s type or class. This sign often appears before objects made out of wood, like weapons or tools.
So in isolation, ĝeš would be pronounced, but if it came before another noun, it would probably be unspoken, meant only as a signal to the reader to help interpret the following sign, since many signs had multiple meanings and pronunciations.
There are a lot of signs that do this. There’s a sign that appears before gods’ names. There’s a sign that goes before birds or bugs (I think maybe the Sumerians classified flying insects as a kind of bird maybe?), a sign that goes before things made of stone, a sign that goes before people’s names, and many more. There’s also a sign that goes after place names.
When we transliterate these signs, we write them in a superscript to show that they’re silent. For instance, we’d write ĝešaš-te to mean (wooden) chair, even though in the original cuneiform the signs are all the same size.
The closest analogy to English writing, I guess, would be like using capital letters for proper nouns. It’s a way to signal something important to the reader.
8:58 am • 15 September 2014 • 144 notes
(noun) This is an untranslatable emotion that only a Czech person would suffer from, defined by Milan Kundera as “a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.” Devices for coping with extreme stress, suffering, and change are often special and unique to cultures and born out of the meeting of despair with a keen sense of survival.
“Translating The Untranslatable,” NPR.
2:15 pm • 7 September 2014 • 858 notes
"n. the moment of realization that your quintessential self isn’t going to show up, which forces the role to fall upon the understudy, the humble kid for whom nothing is easy, who has spent years mouthing their lines in the wings before stumbling out into the glare of your life, which by then is already well into its second act.”
12:41 am • 7 September 2014 • 1,855 notes
rasāsvāda रसास्वाद (rasa, “juice, essence”; āsvāda, “tasting, enjoying”)
12:00 pm • 30 August 2014 • 942 notes
'Street mirrors (katupeili in Finnish) or gossip mirrors (juorupeili in Finnish, skvallerspegel in Swedish) are a type of periscope. Two small rectangular mirrors are attached to the outside window of a house, creating a right angle with the mirrored surfaces facing inwards. This allows individuals looking out from their houses to see the street, in both directions, without people in the street knowing that they are being watched. … A large number of mirrors survived in use in Oulu (Swedish Uleåborg) up until the 1950s, but there is now only one left, a very recent replica, in a street close to the historic market place.’
—Ylimaunu, T., Symonds, J., Mullins, P. et al. 2014. ‘Street mirrors, surveillance, and urban communities in early modern FInland,’ Journal of Material Culture 19 (2): 150-151.
5:54 pm • 29 August 2014 • 27 notes
“The English language is nobody’s special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.”
— Derek Walcott (via victoriousvocabulary)
6:15 pm • 6 June 2014 • 499 notes
1. lost in the sense of stranded; gone astray.
2. having been mistaken; having been made as an error.
Etymology: Latin, from errō, “go astray, err”.
[Tohru Patrick Awa - Hansel & Gretel]
12:00 pm • 28 May 2014 • 742 notes
the sound of soft whispering, murmuring, or rustling.
Etymology: from Latin susurrāre, “to whisper”.
[yanadhyana - Whispering Grass]
12:00 pm • 20 May 2014 • 842 notes
“We mistrust people who misuse words, just as we do those who use them too well.”
— Richard Krause, from Epigrams (via violentwavesofemotion)
12:00 pm • 18 May 2014 • 864 notes