Archive for the ‘words’ Category
Diaphanous was one of my first gos at Artwiculate. I tried one a couple of nights earlier but it was only 5 minutes before the end of the 24 hours and it didn’t register – the word was Quagmire. “I admire a good quagmire, something you can really get stuck into”
The challenge of writing well in 140 characters is something else you can really get stuck into – it has something of the unities of classical drama about it. Some people really seem to shine at it like Russell no T Davies of Wired UK.
I came across Artwiculate because I’m always on the look-out for inspirational word stuff in my capacity as a non-exec (NED – another word game I indulge in is collecting TLAs) of Wordia, the video dictionary which is a quagmire in itself once you immerse yourself in all those lovely words and definitions like Vibrato, Neologism and Flannel.
Some of my recent Artwiculate entries:
A John Osborne one…
The Avocado Bathroom Suite – a drama by Kitsch N. Sink. Jimmy looks back in anger on a miserable visit to Habitat with posh cow Alison.
A Steely Dan one…
Yesterday’s Ephemeral is today’s Ephem: no static at all
An Evelyn Waugh/Men at Arms one…
Lissome up, men, I want this march lithe, quick and graceful – by the left, lithe, quick and graceful march! left, right, left, right…
Just a reminder : I’m still collecting Three Letter Acronyms aka TLAs
and it’s a richer world than you may think:
TLC = yes of course Tender Loving Care but also…
|Text Local Coordinates|
|The Learning Channel|
|Third Level Cache|
|Tables & Ladders & Chairs (pro wrestling)|
|TACOM (Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command) Learning Center [a marvelllous double acronym from the military-industrial complex]|
|Tactical Landing Craft|
|Tactical Leaders Course|
|Tailored Logistics Corporation (US defense contractor specializing in the development of component overhaul kits)|
|Targeted Learning Corporation|
|Tastes Like Chicken|
|Tasty Little Crackers (Kashi Company)|
|Taxi & Limousine Commission (New York City)|
|Teacher Leadership Council (Mormon Church)|
|Teaching and Learning Centre (Australia)|
|Teaching and Learning Committee|
|Team Leadership Center|
|Team Life Care Insurance Pvt Ltd (India)|
|Tech Logic Corporation (library services company)|
|Technology Learning Center|
|Technology Life Careers|
|Technology Life Cycle|
|Teen Life Conference|
|Telecommunication Line Controller|
|Telephone Line Control|
|Time to Lane Crossing|
|Tender Loving Cuisine (Five Dock, NSW, Australia)|
|Tennessee Llama Community|
|Term Loan C|
|Ternary Linear Code|
|Territory Logistics Center (FEMA)|
|Test Loop Combination|
|Texas Land & Cattle (restaurant)|
|Texas Logistics Corporation|
|Texas Lutheran College|
|The Laser Center (laser vision correction)|
|Tool Command Language|
|Top Level Care|
|The Latino Coalition (Washington, DC)|
|The Laughing Classroom (book)|
|The Leadership Center|
|The Leaky Cauldron (Harry Potter website)|
|The Learning Collaborative (Columbia, South Carolina)|
|The Learning Company|
|Top Level Categories|
|The Lego Company|
|The Library Corporation|
|The Lost Creatures (gaming clan)|
|The Loveline Companion|
|Therapeutic Lifestyle Change|
|Thermochromic Liquid Crystal|
|Thin Layer Chromatography|
|Three Letter Code|
|Thunderbird Language Center (Glendale, Arizona)|
|Tiwi Land Council (statutory authority representing Aboriginal Owners of Tiwi Islands)|
|Toastmasters Learning Center|
|Tomatoes, Lettuce, and Cheese|
|Top Line Creations (Utah)|
|Total Lack of Consideration|
|Total Lateral Clearance (highway capacity, civil engineering)|
|Total Leucocyte Count|
|Total Lines of Code|
|Total Logistic Control|
|Total Lung Capacity|
|Total Lymphocyte Count|
|Tough Logging Conditions (oil industry)|
|Touro Law Center|
|Toxic Links Coalition|
|Toyota Land Cruiser|
|Toys for Local Children (charity)|
|Trac Lapping Club|
|Trades and Labor Council of Western Australia|
|Traffic Light Chart (integrated three-tiered reporting system/format)|
|Traffic Load Control|
|Transformation Life Cycle|
|Transformational Learning Connections|
|Transformative Learning Centre (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto)|
|Transformer-rectifier Line Contactor|
|Transgender Liberation and Care|
|Transitional Learning Center|
|Transitional Line Charge|
|TransLogistique, Canada (Logistics and SCM training)|
|Transmission Line Coupler|
|Transport Logical Connection (Ciena)|
|Transport-, Informatik-, Logistik-Consulting GmbH|
|Transportation & Logistics Council, Inc. (formerly Transportation Consumer Protection Council, TCPC)|
|Transportation for Livable Communities|
|Tratado de Libre Comercio|
|Tri-Level Compression (ACS Communications)|
|Trichotillomania Learning Center (Santa Cruz, CA)|
|Trinity Lutheran College|
|Tripp Lake Camp (Poland, Maine)|
|Trivial Loot Code (Everquest game)|
|Trotskyist League of Canada|
|TrueLicense Library Collection|
|Trunk Logic Circuit (Nortel)|
|Truth in Labeling Campaign|
|Tuckerton Lumber Company|
|Tunable Laser Channel (Agilent)|
|Two Letter Clan (gaming clan)|
|Talbo Lago Carrossiers|
|Total Linux Coverage|
I’m sitting here in the James Joyce Foundation in Zurich with in front of me a copy of ‘Thom’s Official Directory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the year 1904’ published in Dublin by Thom & Co. (Limited) of Middle Abbey-Street. 1904 is the year in which Joyce’s Ulysses is set. This big red volume is the reference book Joyce used to recreate the detail of Dublin from exile here in Zurich. Joyce came to the city on leaving Dublin in 1904 (hence the choice of date for the novel – it is Dublin as fixed at the point of exile) accompanied by his other half, Nora Barnacle. They moved on to Italy/Trieste, back to Zurich, and on to Paris. Much of Ulysses (1922) was written here in Zurich. Joyce left occupied France in 1940 for Zurich where he died in 1941 (aged 59) and is buried.
So I’m flying in this morning with my iPod Shuffle on and up pops Van the Man singing ‘Too Long in Exile‘ with the line “just like James Joyce, baby / Too long in exile” – one of those meant to be moments.
And on the subject of Abbey Street and occupied France, in my hands is a copy of a classy thriller ‘The 6th Lamentation‘ by William Brodrick whose two central characters are a monk and a victim of the occupation of Paris. Another key character is a refugee to Switzerland. So I’m psyched for the Stiftung James Joyce.
I’m welcolmed by a friendly American academic and by the Director and prime mover of the Foundation, Fritz Senn, a Joyce specialist and as near as a Swiss man can be to being Irish.
In the back of Thom’s is an advert for Uska-Slan – Water of Health – in the form of Cantrell & Cochrane’s Table Waters. Just the kind of ad Leopold Bloom would have dealt in. I’m fresh from a lunchtime conversation which included the benefits of Badoit and the insanity of bottled still water. There’s a wonderful passage in Ulysses about water I heard declaimed atop the martello tower in Sandycove, South Dublin on the centenary Bloom’s Day on 16th June 2004.
I can, for example, look up my sister-in-law’s street in Ballybough (PoorTown) and see exactly who lived there in 1904. Mrs Grace at No. 24. A draper at No. 1, a jeweller at No. 14 and Mr John Killen of the GPO at No. 16. It tells you where the pillar boxes were (“Pillar Letter Box adjoining Raglan-road”). I’ve just spotted my father-in-law’s namesake (Murphy, James, esq.) at No. 26 Clyde-road which was valued at 70 pounds – and a certain William McGee at Cobourg-place (next door to Jasper Monahan the spirit grocer, which I assume is a far more colourful name for an off-licence).
My wife has now lived in London – many miles away from the cemetry at Kilbroney, Co. Louth where James Murphy after James Murphy is buried – for more years than she’s lived in Ireland – she went past the mid-point a couple of years ago, very significant really.
When I was in Ireland for the summer holidays last year, staying at said sister-in-law in Ballybough, I picked up a copy (at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham) of ‘That Neutral Island‘ by Clair Wills about the Irish home front in the Second World War. I often wonder what similarities and differences there are between the Irish neutrality and the Swiss. Joyce spent most of the First World War (July 1915 to October 1919) in Zurich, as well as getting the permit for entry from occupied France in late 1940.
A few weeks ago there was a big art robbery just outside Zurich from another Foundation – the Emil Buhrle Foundation. Buhrle was a Zurich-based, German born industrialist who sold arms to the Third Reich. After the war 13 paintings in the collection, which was raided in February by armed masked men, appeared on a list of art looted by Nazis from Jews and eventually he handed them over, getting some compensation from the Swiss government. The provenance of other works in the collection remains shady. Much like the Russian collection currently on show in the Royal Academy, London (in the From Russia exhibition), where the British government had to provide an official ‘safe passage’ document to insulate the dubious pieces from any chance of investigation and return to their rightful owners – Russia’s art galleries are peppered with works ‘nationalised’ after the Revolution or looted in the Second World War, many ultimately from murdered Jews. So one has limited sympathy for the Emil Buhrle Foundation as whose work the masked raiders with the Slavic accents actually stole is a moot point.
I recently came across this quotation by the writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner (and man behind another foundation, this one a Foundation for Humanity, which bears his name) Elie Wiesel (through A.Word.A.Day – a daily email with an interesting new word – might have been Joyce’s cup of tea [my philisophical Zurchner taxi driver earlier today was tickled pink by this British idiom]):
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
“It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph.”
Reckon I’ll give the last word to Van the Man (not to be confused with White Van Man – the Buhrle robbery was carried out in a white panel van) and his collaborator on ‘Song of Being a Child‘, Peter Handke (not Swiss but Austrian like Adolf Hitler and Simon Wiesenthal, born in 1942, also a collaborator with Wim Wenders [Wings of Desire], a writer who has lived in self-imposed exile in Berlin, the US and for the last two decades Paris):
When the child was a child
It was the time of the following questions
Why am I me and why not you
Why am I here and why not there
Why did time begin and where does space end
Isn’t what I see and hear and smell
Just the appearance of the world in front of the world
Isn’t life under the sun just a dream
Does evil actually exist in people
Who really are evil
Why can’t it be that I who am
Wasn’t before I was
And that sometime I, the I, I am
No longer will be the I, I am
A little more magic from the Hiberno-Germanic melting pot.
Warum bin ich ich und warum nicht du?
Warum bin ich hier und warum nicht dort?
It’s always nice to lay down your head at night in the belief that you’ve learnt at least one thing in the day.
So here we are at 10am and I’ve bagged today’s thing – just learnt this cracking new word courtesy of A.Word.A.Day from wordsmith.org.
“hypnopompic (hip-no-POM-pik) adjective
Pertaining to the semi-conscious state before waking.”
Being still to some degree hypnopompic myself (my most lively and creative time is around midnight), I’ll have to give it a few hours before I start trying to weave my new word seamlessly into conversations today.
Unusually, for me at least, in my horizontal hypnopompic state earlier this morning I’d composed a whole four-line poem Shelley-like in the pit. Like England FC playing away, I pretty much knew I’d lose it by morning. And I did. That’s the problem with hypnopomposity – it’s great for creativity but a bit of a bugger to bring to the light.