Tag Archives: language

german kennings

“[Germanic] poetry had developed another hierarchical poetic instrument: that is, kennings – descriptive, crystallized metaphors.” Poetic themes and elements were very redundant, and they did not begin or end with similar sounds, so the usual poetic rhythm was hard to establish. “For this poetry, which was only epic, they formed compound words to denote things whose names did not begin… (more…)

a trap door in the sand

I like how language is a very basic kind of set theory. Whenever a word is said or heard, read or written, a circle is drawn in our consciousness. A word is a circle that knows what is inside it-and everything else in the universe is outside. The stuff inside is, in a way, the complete definition of the word.… (more…)

like snowflakes in museums

The words we use aren’t really real. They’re a tool, they’re a construct. They’re like objects we hand back and forth to each other to put pictures in each other’s head. Words aren’t the bottom layer of language-the pictures and thoughts in your head are. Words themselves are a couple of floors up. How hard is it to hold a… (more…)