This year we experimented in our classes with drawing the notes on an article. (We had already taken written notes.) I used the information I gained from a TED talk to introduce the idea and I shared my drawn notes.
Today I was reminded of that experiment (somewhat successful and, at least, having no negative impact) by an article on JRR Tolkien drawing middle-earth.
While I still think it is weird that the OED’s word of the year for 2015 is a pictograph (face with tears of joy), I think it is interesting that literacy seems to be moving towards images… What will the world read like in five hundred years.
True Confession Time:
I have always loved the Amelia Bedelia stories. That is not what I need to confess, though. Everyone who loves words should love those books.
What I have to confess is I didn’t know that words that mean the opposite of each other are called contronyms.
Dust is a contronym.
For when I am teaching linguistics or my ESL bridge class.
It moves through time. It starts in 1800 and moves through to this year.
The article also has Kalev Leetaru’s map of locations mentioned in conjunction with the American Civil War between 1855 and 1875. I find that interesting, since the Civil War didn’t start till 1861.
Like this one
can be found at Business Insider.
Folks’ names were set, in pronunciation, sometimes before standardized spelling. (Note: standardized spelling came several hundred years after the printing press.)
Thus, you can have Coldiron as a last name, pronounced as cauldron in modern English.
Metaphors are not just for literature anymore.
The Guardian has an article on the Glasgow University research work on 13 centuries of metaphors. The map is cool, though the description is limited.
However, you can read the @MappingMetaphor blog and find details. The newest post on fear is interesting.
Indonesian also has its own metaphorical expressions. Some of conventional Indonesian metaphors include Dia menjadi kambing hitam dalam kasus itu ‘He became the scapegoat in that case’, Jatuhnya harga saham membuat dia bangkrut ‘The fall in stock price made him bankrupt’ and Kata-katanya membuat aku meledak ‘His words made me blow up’.
The Guardian has an article on educational metaphors. I used this in a class recently and would like to discuss it again more thoroughly. Something that was particularly interesting to me:
“My teacher is an old cow.” What does this mean? How would you respond, as a teacher, if this were said about you?
The New York Times article This is Your Brain on Metaphors is also interesting. It says that your brain sometimes/often interprets metaphorical things literally.
In a remarkable study, Chen-Bo Zhong of the University of Toronto and Katie Liljenquist of Northwestern University demonstrated how the brain has trouble distinguishing between being a dirty scoundrel and being in need of a bath. Volunteers were asked to recall either a moral or immoral act in their past.
“Worthy of Armor” was the name of an Amazon detailed in a Greek drinking cup. “Princess Don’t Fail” was another name rendered there.
Essentially, the ancient Greeks seem to have been trying to re-create the sounds of Scythian names and words on the Amazon vases by writing them out phonetically, the study authors suggest. In doing so, the Greeks may have preserved the roots of ancient languages, showing scholars how these people sounded on the steppes long ago.
Amazons were thought to be solely mythological until archaeologists unearthed Scythian burials of real women warriors, says Mayor, a visiting scholar at Stanford University and author of the just-released The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World.
The names were probably nicknames or heroic appellations given to Amazons, rather than real family names. Even today, Colarusso says, speakers of modern-day languages in the Caucasus region often use public, descriptive nicknames rather than reveal their real names.