BITS & PIECES OF A MISPLACED LIFE: WORDS, WORDS, WORDS

OF LANGUAGE AND THE BIRDS

"Our language reflects our disrespect. Something 
worthlessor unappealing is 'for the birds.' An ineffectual politicianis a 'lame duck.' To 'lay an egg'is to flub a performance. To be 'henpecked!' is to be harassed with persistent nagging.'Eating crow'is eat humble pie. The expression 'bird brain,' for a stupid, foolish, or scatterbrained person, entered theEnglish language in
the early 1920's because people thought of birds as
 mere flying, pecking automatons, with brains so
small they had no capacity for thought at all.
   "That view is a gone goose. In the past two decades 
or so,from fields and laboratories around the world have 
flowed examples of mental feats comparable to those 
found in primates."

Jennifer Ackerman. The Genius of Birds (New York: 
Penguin Books, 2017)
**
NOT EXACTLY HUMPHREY BOGART

“ boggart is, depending on local or regional tradition, 
a malevolent genius loci inhabiting fields, marshes or
 other topographical features. The household boggart 
causes objects to disappear, milk to sour, and dogs 
to go lame. They can possess small animals, fields,
 churches, or houses so they can play tricks on the 
civilians with their chilling laugh.”

	Wikipedia –“English Folklore”
**

FROM TOKYO

Sign in a self-service elevator in a Tokyo apartment
house: “Keep your hands away from unnecessary buttons 
for you.”

**
TWO BEAUTIFUL WORDS

“The two most beautiful words in the English 
language are:  ‘Check enclosed’.

**

15 WORDS SELECTED BY DR. WILFRED FUNK 
AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL  IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

1.	Amaryllis       7. Jonquil          13.Oriole
2.	Anemone         8. Lullaby          14.Rosemary
3.	Asphodel        9. Marigold         15. Tendril
4.	Bobolink        10. Melody
5.	Chalice         11. Mist
6.	 Chimes         12. Myrrah

**

ABOUT EARLY MOVING PICTURE MACHINES 
SUCH AS THE ZOETROPE & NOMINAL EMBROIDERY

“By the end of the nineteenth century, hundreds of 
variation of those toys abounded, each with its own 
name, either simple or ornate –Praxinoscope, Choreutoscope, Wheel of Life. All of those stroboscopic toys shared, 
in addition to the common use of persistence of vision,
several traits that were to continue as trends in later 
movie history. Most strikingmwas the inventors’ passion 
for fancy Greek and Latin names to dignify their dabblings: Thaumatrope, Phensakistiscope, Viviscope, Zootrope. This 
passion for nominal  embroidery would later dominate the 
first era of motion pictures – Kinetoscope, Bioscope,
 Vitascope, Cinematographe –and beyond it – Vitaphone, Technicolor, Cinemascope….”

Gerald Mast. A Short History of the Movies (New York:
Penguin Books, 1971)
**

BLIND DATE WITH AN EDITOR
OF WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY

Oh my beating heart. O good gracious!
Her kisses on my lips were butyraceous.

LJP
**

MOVIES & VOCABULARY BUILDING

Wet-assed hour –(n) Time of trouble or fear
“Come the wet-ass hour and I’m everybody’s daddy.”

Spoken by Al Pacino’s character in SEA OF LOVE
**
WORD COUNT TO TEN

STONE
CEMENT WORKS
WREATH REELS
OFF OUR ROOF
FIFI VENERATES BLOGS
MESSI XEROXES SOCCERS SCORES
FREIGHT
TONI NEEDS THIS LIST
FORGOTTEN

**
THE SAXOPHONIST PAUL DESMOND PRAISES
DAVE BRUBECK

“Desmond, after hearing Brubeck who tended to play ‘way out’ : ‘Man, like wigsville ! You really grooved me with those nutty changes.”

“White Man Speak With Forked Tongue” in JAZZ by
Whitney Balliett in The New Yorker (Sept. 16, 1992)

**
ADJECTIVES USED BY THE NOVELIST SHIRLEY HAZZARD

An "administrative smile'
An "immoderate sunset"
An "infirm chair" in a room of "unconvinced Westernism"
Old buildings whose "violated and ghostly elegance" persists

from On Shirley Hazzard by Michelle deKretser (New York:
Catapult, 2019


FILM DIRECTOR ADJECTIVES

“Stephen (Spielberg)  and David (Lynch) have a profound
 kinship as fellow radicals in the world of cinema. I
 believe
In addition to Hitchcockian, the next two cinema 
names that are now in our dictionaries are Lynchian and Spielbergian.”

Laura Lynney. Time Magazine (June 21,2022)

**


A SINGLE LETTER CAN MAKE 
ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD


             Sweetshop sweatshop
             A single letter
             Divides them,
             That & thousands
             Of lives ruined.

LJP

7 thoughts on “BITS & PIECES OF A MISPLACED LIFE: WORDS, WORDS, WORDS

  1. Oh, LP!, you slay me. Butyraceous: you’ve taught me a new word yet again. Thank you! And where I grew up if someone was bogarting a joint it meant they were being greedy with the weed-y. That usage may just be a Bronxism, I dunno.

    Like

  2. Good stuff, Lou!

    The sign in the Tokyo elevator reminded me of another sign, this one in a tailor shop in Hong Kong: “Ladies have fits upstairs.”

    Like

  3. “James Joyce, author of Ulysses, chose cuspidor as the single most beautiful word in English.
    In the second volume of the Book of Lists, philologist Willard R. Espy identified gonorrhea as one of the ten most beautiful words.”

    Like

    1. Thank you for the infotrmation, which I’ll; ise in my nerxt WORDS, WORDS, WORDS blog..
      Willard Espy was a good ftiend of mine. THe Book of Lists is also a favorite bookl.

      Like

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