bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
For speech it selfe is artificiall and made by man, and the more pleasing it is, the more it preuaileth to such purpose as it is intended for: but speech by meeter is a kind of vtterance, more cleanly couched and more delicate to the eare then prose is, because it is more currant and slipper vpon the tongue, and withal tunable and melodious, as a kind of Musicke, and therfore may be tearmed a musicall speech or vtterance, which cannot but please the hearer very well. Another cause is, for that it is briefer & more compendious, and easier to beare away and be retained in memorie, then that which is contained in multitude of words and full of tedious ambage and long periods.

From The Arte of English Poesie again. I love the way this man writes.

Does anyone know what "tedious ambage" even is?
bouteillebleu: (Default)
...is brought to you by a classified ad in this week's Big Issue. It is entitled "The Christian 666 Evolutionary Mandate" and gets almost to "how on earth did you come to that conclusion?", pausing for quite a long time at "...the English language does not quite work like that".

Here's the text of the advert - it's a little long. )
There is then a mention of how to find the author's book on eBay, and a link to his website Book of Soul, the front page of which has a slightly expanded explanation of the advert.

I actually quite like this one, really, because if you file off some of the names it's credible IC heresy for various game settings. It's possibly even slighty *less* heretical and crackpot for Maelstrom than for real life.
bouteillebleu: (Pomowned)
I have a soft spot for crackpot theories. And Edo Nyland's theory of why all languages evolved from Basque, a language which is commonly taken to be an isolate among languages spoken in Europe, is a great example of such.

The story starts with a radio programme suggesting that Odysseus didn't actually sail the Mediterranean, he possibly went to the North Atlantic instead, and goes on as follows:

Could it be that the peoples along the Atlantic coast of Europe had belonged to the same migration and that all these had spoken the same neolithic language we now call Basque? To test this idea I tried the Basque dictionary on "Laistrygonian" and very quickly there appeared "lai-istri-goni-an". Using the full Basque words: laino-istripu-gonbidatu-aniztasun, meaning: fog-accidents-invites-many, or "fog invites many accidents". Indeed the excellent geographical details provided in the epic, and the entrance problems hinted at in the name perfectly fitted only one place on the west coast of Ireland: Killary Harbour in northern Conamara. My linguistic adventure was off to a good start.


For those of you playing along at home, this sort of "linguistic research" - splitting interesting words into random syllable groups, finding vaguely related Basque words and making up etymologies for the word out of them - is a staple of his theories. It's also complete bullshit.

I'd have a look at his book, but not for £17, and unsurprisingly the UL doesn't have a copy since Trafford Publishing appears to be a vanity press.

They charge a hundred dollars to submit your manuscript, two dollars per page to correct formatting errors in your manuscript among other things that are fairly normal in the editorial process for a non-fiction book as far as I'm aware, and a whole host of expensive packages if you're desperate to be "published" and want more cachet than, say, typesetting your own books and selling them on Lulu will bring you. For what it's worth, at least Lulu is honest that it's effectively Cafepress for books.

(Found this while I was tagging old Livejournal posts and discovered the old link in my original post didn't work.)
bouteillebleu: (Pomowned)
http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/comment/story/0,,1751402,00.html

Tuesday April 11, 2006 - Dr Annie Seaton believes that "Derrida, Bataille, Baudrillard, Lacan..." are among the best French thinkers. (Recall that Lacan is the man who implied that the square root of minus one was equal to his penis.)

She also says "My apologies to Oxbridge, where conceptual advances seem less important than old school ties and reinforcing class distinctions".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,1751860,00.html

Wednesday April 12, 2006 - James Syme replies that Oxbridge is better than France in the sciences, and Cambridge alone has 56 Nobel Prize winners to its name compared to France's 11. Alas, he fails to mention that Trinity College alone also has more Nobel Prize winners than France.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/comment/story/0,,1755146,00.html

Monday April 17, 2006 - Six more people respond to Seaton's letter. Prof Raymond points out that French universities have moved on from the worst of the postmodernist nonsense that Harvard is still fascinated by.

Seaton herself replies to Syme's letter, with the claim that "there is a reason why it is the sciences - and not difficult modernist fiction or books about the philosophy of freedom - which can still flourish in totalitarian societies". She then fails to mention what this reason is.

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