Category Archives: Language

Ideas that add up #229

Perhaps the most profound account of personhood in this century is that given by Martin Buber (1923), in the small book originally translated into English as I and Thou (Buber, 1937). Here he makes a contrast between two ways of … Continue reading

Posted in Eat Drink Man Woman, Good life, Language | Leave a comment

Ideas that add up #211

[John Searle, in Mind] says of certain arguments offered by philosophers of the materialist school, “What they suggest is that these people are determined to try to show that our ordinary common-sense notions of the mental do not name anything … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Smart thinking | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ideas that add up #199

Werifesteria: Leonie Bell wrote to ask about this word, which is circulating in social media. It’s said to be Old English, meaning “to wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery”. Its popularity suggests that it meets an inchoate … Continue reading

Posted in Good health, Green planet, Language | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ideas that add up #183

In 1917 the sociologist and philosopher Max Weber named ‘disenchantment’ (Entzauberung) as the distinctive injury of modernity. He defined disenchantment as ‘the knowledge or belief that . . . there are no mysterious incalculable forces that come into play, but … Continue reading

Posted in Green planet, Language | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ideas that add up #160

It was the middle classes who reinstated their ‘g’s. It’s not that they dropped their ‘g’s, it’s that we all didn’t pronounce the ‘g’ after the Old English period. So, [in] 1100, 1200, we were all “huntin’, shootin’, fishin’”, as … Continue reading

Posted in Language | Leave a comment

Ideas that add up #157

From Robert Johnson to Bon Iver, the mythologising of the lone man and his guitar has a long tradition, but few stories are as remarkable as Seasick Steve’s. “Hobos are people who move around looking for work”, he once said; … Continue reading

Posted in Language | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ideas that add up #129

Translation presupposes not the loss of the ineffable in any given act of interlingual mediation such as the translation of poetry, but the irrelevance of the ineffable to acts of communication. Any thought a person can have, the philosopher Jerrold … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Written word | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment