Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Meow Meow

Okay, first and foremost, this is Errin--NOT Vegor. I wish I could have taken this class, but I wasn't lucky enough to. I guess there's always next fall... Anyway, the topics of discussion on this blog, as well as the discussions I've had with many people in the class have really intrigued me. One that Travis, Vegor and I got onto today was the way that the "American" accent sounds in other countries. So far we have learned that in Mexico it sounds like "shwa shwa, shwashwa" or "Hey, Britney Spears" and thanks to the interweb we know that in some European countries it sounds like, "rar rarrar rar." This got us talking about onomatopoeia, especially with animal sounds. For instance, the American dog says, "woof woof," but the dog of the Dominican Republic says, "how how," while Japanese dogs say, "wan wan." Here's a recording of a bunch of kids from around the world doing the standard, "what does the cow say," etc. (I wish it had the written examples as well, since the audio isn't great, but, still an interesting website.

Friday, January 11, 2008

npr W O N D E R

today, on the way to school, i had the delight of listening to doug fabrizio's radio west on npr. the topic, inventing words. invented words, or "familisms", are a lingual wonder all their own. we create them in secrecy, out of necessity, validate them through the random ways they are born, and discover that they, though silly, are often more expressive than words that are fixed in dictionaries. this language is born of children shouting, noises in the throat and things that keep popping up nameless begging to be named.
have a minute? click on the link to read the discussion, contribute to the forum, and read the words people call their own.
what are your familisms? mine? oh, i thought you would never ask...
well, in my family (of blood and choice) here are a few favorites:
butt-tight: that tense all over anxiety you get when someone does or says something ignorant, bigoted or too self-revealing. the anxiety entends throughout the body, even through the butt.
frozen man: when i shiver i say frozen man. explaination: NONE.

My Word Not Yours

dada manifesto
by hugo ball

14th july 1916

Dada is a new tendency in art. One can tell this from the fact that until now nobody knew anything about it, and tomorrow everyone in Zurich will be talking about it. Dada comes from the dictionary. it is terribly simple. In French it means "hobby horse." In German it means "good-by," "Get off my back," "Be seeing you sometime." In Romanian: "Yes, indeed, you are right, that's it. But of course, yes, definitely, right." And so forth.

An international word. Just a word, and the word a movement. Very easy to understand. Quite terribly simple. To make of it an artistic tendency must mean that one is anticipating complications. Dada psychology, dada Germany cum indigestion and fog paroxysm, dada literature, dada bourgeoisie, and yourselves, honored poets, who are always writing with words but never writing the word itself, who are always writing around the actual point. Dada world war without end, dada revolution without beginning, dada, you friends and also-poets, esteemed sirs, manufacturers, and evangelists. Dada Tzara, dada Huelsenbeck, dada m'dada, dada m'dada dada mhm, dada dere dada, dada Hue, dada Tza.

How does one achieve eternal bliss? By saying dada. How does one become famous? By saying dada. With a noble gesture and delicate propriety. Till one goes crazy. Till one loses consciousness. How can one get rid of everything that smack of journalism, worms, everything nice and right, blinkered, moralistic, europeanized, enervated? By saying dada. Dada is the world soul, dada is the pawnshop. Dada is the world's best lily-milk soap. Dada Mr. Rubiner, dada Mr. Korrodi. Dada Mr. Anastasius Lilienstein.

In plain language: the hospitality of the Swiss is something to be profoundly appreciated. And in questions of aesthetics the key is quality.

I shall be reading poems that are meant to dispense with conventional language, no less, and to have done with it. Dada Johann Fuschgang Goethe, Dada Stendhal. Dada Dalai Lama, Buddha, Bible and Nietzsche. Dada m'dada. Dada mhm dada da. It's a question of connections, and of loosening them up a bit to start with. I don't want words that other people have invented. All the words are other people's inventions. I want my own stuff, my own rhythm, and vowels and consonants too, matching the rhythm and all my own. If this pulsation in seven yards long, I want words for it that are seven yards long. Mr. Schulz's words are only two and a half centimeters long.

It will serve to show how articulated language comes into being. I let the vowels fool around. I let the vowels quite simply occur, as a cat miaows... Words emerge, shoulders of words, legs, arms, hands of words. Au, oi, uh. One shouldn't let too many words out. A line of poetry is a chance to get rid of all the filth that clings to this accursed language, as if put there by stockbrokers' hands, hands worn smooth by coins. I want the word where it ends and begins. Dada is the heart of words.

Each thing has its word, but the word has become a thing by itself. Why shouldn't I find it? Why can't a tree be called Pluplusch, and Pluplubasch when it has been raining? The word, the word, the word outside your domain, your stuffiness, this laughable impotence, your stupendous smugness, outside all the parrotry of your self-evident limitedness. The word, gentlement, is a public concern of the first importance.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

rice for words

love words?
wish more people had rice?
click here for a productive way to test your word bank while feeding the hungry

What's Your Favorite Curse Word?