Tag Archives: words

noetic or poetic?

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NOETIC

no-ED-ik

Part of speech: adjective 

Origin: Greek, mid-17th century

Definition: Relating to mental activity or the intellect.

Examples in a sentence:

“The philosophy department attracts noetic students.”

“Noah was equally athletic and noetic”

Some travel life, 

Shining brightly noetic

But as for me, 

 I’d rather wax poetic. 

-beth

 

 

 

image credit: npr brightside

huh?

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The word “huh” packs a lot of meaning into just one syllable. When we use it, we might be expressing confusion, asking for clarification, or requesting that a statement be repeated. We’re also communicating so concisely there’s hardly a break in the conversation, making “huh” the politest kind of interruption.

No wonder, then, that the word “huh” appears in multiple languages. In fact, according to a recent study in the journal PLOS ONE, linguists have found that the word is used to express confusion not only in related language families, but across multiple, independently developed languages. The researchers, who recently won an Ig Nobel Prize honoring their study, argued that “huh?” is so common it may actually be universal.

According to New York Magazine,  the researchers studied conversational use of the word “huh” in 10 different languages, including English, Icelandic, Murrinh-Patha (from Australia), and Cha’palaa (from Ecuador). Though these languages don’t share an origin, they still employ “huh” in much the same way.

The researchers believe that the widespread use of the word “huh” is an example of convergent evolution. In each language, “huh” developed independently, but was shaped by similar environmental or linguistic pressures—for example, the need for a relatively polite way to signal confusion. According to the study, the word “fulfills a crucial need shared by all languages –the efficient signaling of problems of hearing and understanding.”

“Huh” is not an innate human sound, like a grunt or emotional cry, the researchers say. Rather, it’s learned, taught to children, and passed down linguistically from generation to generation. According to researchers, its universality is a result of its important conversational function. Most of us probably take the word “huh” for granted—or don’t even think of it as a word at all—but according to researchers, that’s exactly why it’s so important: It doesn’t draw attention to itself.

 

“before I came here I was confused about this subject.

having listened to your lecture I am still confused. but on a higher level.”

-enrico fermi

 

 

 

Source Credit: New York Magazine, Photo credit: Animal Channel

 

 

 

animal planet

alphabet soup.

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i have always loved alphabets

when i was young

one of my favorite days ever

was when i could finally

decode the letters and read words

i love alphabets created out of every imaginable material, and alpha art and images of all kinds

today i tried to look up the word for someone who loves alphabets

and there was nothing to be found

the closest i could come was for someone who loves words:

What do you call a person who loves words?
A logophile is a person who loves words; a word nerd.
Because it’s not all that commonly known,
logophile is probably most commonly used by logophiles themselves.
(of which i am one)
but alas, ironically, no word for someone who loves the letters that make up every word.

“human society, the world, and the whole of mankind is to be found in the alphabet.”

-victor hugo

 

 

wobbly.

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when i stopped by my favorite coney island restaurant to pick up a giant greek salad

(in detroit, coney dogs and greek food under one roof are a restaurant tradition)

something on their monday special sign stuck out

while the words ‘coney island’ were displayed on 3 signs all around it

and coney island is a part of the restaurant’s name

the special somehow became ‘cony‘ dog monday.

i know how hard it is to be your own editor

and i am easily amused

but it just struck me as really funny

that no one noticed

 it’s the most popular item they sell.

“my spelling is wobbly. it’s good spelling but it wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”

-A. A. Milne

the history of how you felt.

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 loving my new journals and so looking forward to filling them

 

“language allows us to reach out to people, to touch them with our innermost fears, hopes, disappointments, victories.

to reach out to people we’ll never meet.

it’s the greatest legacy you could ever leave your children or your loved ones:

the history of how you felt.”

-simon van booy

 

nursery rhymes.

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“read to your children all of the time

novels and nursery rhymes

autobiographies, even the newspaper

it doesn’t matter; it’s quality time

because once upon a time

we grew up on stories in the voices in which they were told

we need words to hold us and the world to behold us

for us to truly know our souls.”

-taylor mali

in honor of world nursery rhyme week

 

 

 

 

image credit: 1930s vintage etsy art

commonplace.

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wonder what the deadline on this project is?

so many things out in the world

just waiting to be discovered

one of my favorite things to do is to stumble upon them

share them with my camera and my words

 

“anything that excites me for any reason, i will photograph;

not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”

-edward weston

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