All posts tagged: language

Professor Profiles: Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann

From the age of four and throughout his youth, Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann was considered a mathematical prodigy, but always felt that it did not have the soul, social interaction and emotional intelligence that languages have. “I might be wrong but I was certain,” said Professor Zuckermann from his Adelaide University office. He has always been interested in languages, both Language (with a capital L) and languages, and has always been ludic and playful with words. He used to write palindromic stories and bilingual homophonous poems, which are now widely found on the Internet. “Children’s writer Russell Hoban described language as an ‘archaeological vehicle’, full of the remnants of dead and living pasts, lost and buried civilisations and technologies. The language we speak is a whole palimpsest of human effort and history,” quoted Professor Zuckermann by heart. He shifted in his chair, gesticulating gently, and explained that palimpsest is a beautiful metaphor for language.Coming from Greek,it means ‘scraped again’, ‘re-scratched,’ referring to a text written on top of another text. “A language is multi-layered, it encodes …

This Week In Things of Note

Blank on Blank archives interviews by Leonard Lopate, who has been the host of The Leonard Lopate Show for almost 30 years. Their raison d’être is simple: to preserve the art of the interview and showcase the soundbites of history. You will find interview from Grace Kelly to Jane Goodall, and this pick from David Foster Wallace. Here’s David talking about ambition: If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in— It’s actually kind of tragic because it means you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is.   A recent survey has surfaced the decline of the signature. While years ago, a generation of youngsters were purchasing coloured gel pens and practicing their signatures, from the survey, 30% of 18-34 year olds admitted to having a “flexible signature”. That is, they don’t have one single calligraphic identity — one signature may be a squiggle, another an initial, or another just their first name. 64% stated it was because of the great amount of …

20 Words That Don’t Exist

1. When something finally clicks, and everything just makes sense. 2. The exact time you remember that word that was on the tip of your tongue. 3. The very moment you open your eyes when you wake up. 3. The thought that leads you into a daydream and then realising that you were daydreaming. 4. When you read something written by someone else which exactly describes what you’re feeling. 5. When two people look at each other and just know what the other is thinking. This is often followed by a mutual action. 6. The feeling of having a feeling. 7. Finally realising that something you once found imperfect or flawed, is imperfectly perfect — is beautiful. 8. Wanting to express something but not knowing what. 9. To be happy for someone else’s success or good fortune. 10. Finding the right words at the right time, and saying the right thing at the right time. 11. A craving for a perfect cup of coffee. 12. The frustration of accepting something you don’t want to; accepting defeat. Not ceding, …