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words

Sick of thinking

March 14, 2009

The flu has kept me in bed for the past four days, and it’s also kept me to my own thoughts. I began getting sick of my voice, not my physical one (that too), but the imaginary one I actually hear when I’m thinking. Is it possible to think without words, without language? How peaceful would that be. I think as children we probably all thought without words much of the time, or at least I’d like to imagine I did, as I was never very good at words. But I’ve become more and more reliant on it. Maybe the reason we’re such muddled-in-the-head people is because of the way we think. Dr. Temple Grandin, who is autistic, and whom I found on Google by searching “thinking without words” has written a very interesting article. She describes the way she thinks as a series of images as in a flip book. All her thoughts are this way, some are videos and three dimensional models that she can manipulate in a very detailed and complex fashion. Images trigger other images in a succession to form a thought. When she thinks “dog” she automatically sees a bunch of pictures of every single specific dog she’s ever known, not some general abstract “dog”.

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Short Shrift

January 27, 2009

from the American Heritage Dictionary online:

NOUN:1. Summary, careless treatment; scant attention: These annoying memos will get short shrift from the boss. 2. Quick work. 3a. A short respite, as from death. b. The brief time before execution granted a condemned prisoner for confession and absolution.

WORD HISTORY: To be given short shrift is not the blessing it once was. The source of our verb shrive (shrove, shriven) and noun shrift, which have technical meanings from ecclesiastical Latin, is Classical Latin scribere, “to write.” Shrive comes from the Old English verb scrifan, “to decree, decree after judgment, impose a penance upon (a penitent), hear the confession of.” The past participle of scrifan is scrifen, our shriven. The noun shrift, “penance; absolution,” comes from Old English scrift with the same meaning, which comes from scriptus, the perfect passive participle of scribere, and means “what is written,” or, to use the Latin word, “what is prescribed.” Theologians and confessors viewed the sacrament of penance as a prescription that cured a moral illness. In early medieval times penances were long and arduous—lengthy pilgrimages and even lifelong exile were not uncommon—and had to be performed before absolution, not after as today. However, less demanding penances could be given in extreme situations; short shrift was a brief penance given to a person condemned to death so that absolution could be granted before execution.

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Word Collection #1

December 3, 2007

A while back, I started collecting words with two consecutive letter pairs. For example, balloon… two l’s followed directly by two o’s. Please let me know if you find any more. I’m not googling them or anything, cause that’ll take all the fun out of finding them because I’m sure there is a comprehensive list somewhere on the web:

balloon
coffee
roommate
tattoo
lessee
committee
buffoon
wheelless
whippoorwill
tattoo
unneeded
Van de Graaff generator
greenness
pollee
barroom
bassoon
toffee
raccoon
spittoon
coolly
woolly
succeed
galloon
addressee
halloo

Words that I found in an old dictionary that may not be words anymore cause I can’t find them in my other newer dictionary:

burreed (sometimes spelled as bur-reed)
shalloon
raggee (alt. spelling of ragi)

Also, the only one with three consecutive letter pairs I’ve found so far: bookkeeping.

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