Words as Idols

Read Owen Barfield’s “Poetic Diction” and “History in English Words” a year or so ago, and blogged several items. [here][here][here]. I was doing a search on Barfield today in preparation for reading more of his work and came across two interesting sites. This review of Barfield’s “Saving the Appearances – A Study in Idolatry” on … Continue reading “Words as Idols”

Rules That Ain’t

There are some classic memes where smart-asses point out ambiguities, disagreements and exceptions to would-be rules. I’m thinking about two kinds here: “BODMAS” rules of algebraic computation [Brackets, Power(Order, Of), Division, Multiplication, Addition & Subtraction] and/or “I before E except after C” in spelling of “ie” and “ei” words in English The former tends to … Continue reading “Rules That Ain’t”

Post of Posts Catch-Up

A month or so couple of weeks ago, I posted a holding post for a whole collection of posts I need to write. Despite more than a dozen significant posts since then, not to mention Tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve still barely acknowledged those I telegraphed then, even though some of the subject matter clearly … Continue reading “Post of Posts Catch-Up”

No.1 Among Us

A post primarily to recommend a read I’ve not yet completed: Orientations, the autobiography of Sir Ronald Storrs, described by T E Lawrence as “The first of us …. always first, and the great man among us.” Conversely, Storrs a man with as good a handle on the flawed genius – “my little genius” – that … Continue reading “No.1 Among Us”

Reading Updates

Just a few sketchy holding points for now … Finished Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach. Excellent to the end. Skimmed the tougher mathematically and notationally detailed sections – seemed important to get the thrust on trust, which I think I did. I think his final dialogue, almost explicitly explaining the “fugue” underlying all the dialogues throughout … Continue reading “Reading Updates”

Barfield and Rorty

(Broad-band internet link from Aotou, China enables this post !) Finished Barfield’s History in English Words and started Rorty’s Contingency, Irony and Solidarity on the flight. Barfield uses etymology of English words to paint a picture of the history of thought through language, not just through the stems and origins of the individual words, but … Continue reading “Barfield and Rorty”

Aryans ?

Have Aryan’s been air-brushed from history ?(Apparently the term is no longer PC – Indo-European is preferred – but was this just a region containing a group of peoples, or a people consiting of a common culture and language ? – a key point blurred by the PC term – thanks to LanguageHat.) I’m reading … Continue reading “Aryans ?”