jueves, 26 de febrero de 2015

INTO THE WOODS AMV

ADVERT PARODY - WESTEROS STYLE

MEGANE ADVERT - WESTEROS STYLE
(Fun parody!)

Jon Nieve,
curvas imposibles e intrigas sin razón.
Dragones,
un eunuco gordo e idiomas sin comprensión.
Ser Jaime que está herido,
putas en reproducción,
más Caminantes Blancos,
y Tyrion Lannister en la cama sin control...
ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah...
MELISANDRE: ¿Algo más?
STANNIS: Sí, una invocación.
Y una invocación... oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh...

Elige el camino de Poniente.
La mejor serie televisiva y de novelas.


UPDATE - SEASON 5 EVENTS

Jon Nieve,
una profecía y la muerte de un setentón.
Dragones,
Stannis en el Muro y su hija en combustión.
De Sansa el compromiso,
una gran revolución,
aún más Caminantes Blancos,
y Tyrion Lannister en una caja sin control...
ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah...
MELISANDRE: ¿Algo más?
STANNIS: Sí, y Cersei en prisión.
Y Cersei en prisión... oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh...

Elige el camino de Poniente.
La mejor serie televisiva y de novelas.

SOMETHING YOU DON'T READ EVERY DAY

I still remember when (in the novels) Tywin Lannister died on the privy... as he evacuated. It was not gold (as the made-up story about his clan's wealth said). Squick.

That's something you very rarely read. What would Charles Dance, with all that British stuffiness and courtesy of his, have said about the matter?

Rarely, humans in fiction, often those in lead roles, need to get rid of their waste products.
When seen, this role is left over to animal characters and/or for comedic purposes.
Like in folktales of the Table-Set-Yourself type (Aarne-Thompson 563), which can be summarized as this:

  • Lone kid hero / Three brothers out to seek fortune
  • Donor gives each brother of the three a gift / the lone hero three gifts:
  1. self-setting table
  2. gold-defecating herbivore (bowdlerised in some versions as always gold-filled purse or coat)
  3. wand that obeys owner's commands
  • Thénardier-esque innkeepers (often, husband and wife) steal two first gifts, while owner is asleep, and replace them with non-magical lookalikes
  • Parents disbelieve in alleged magic of gifts when attempts to make their ersatzes function fail
  • Hero (/youngest brother) uses wand to torture innkeepers, who confess and give two first gifts back
  • All three gifts revealed to be magic: happy ever after (whole family prospers).


The following is an excerpt in which the "Parents disbelieve in alleged magic of second gift" phase is illustrated. In this version, the second gift is a gold-defecating billy goat, which the innkeepers have stolen and replaced, while the young hero slept, with a remarkably similar one withour any powers:

"After all, the North Wind is a jolly fellow; for now he has given me a ram which can coin golden ducats if I only say, 'Ram, ram! make money!' "
"All very true, I daresay," said his mother; "but I shan't believe any such stuff until I see the ducats made."
"Ram, ram! make money!" said the lad; but if the the ram made anything it wasn't money.

Likewise, in the medieval fabliau One-Ox, the titular trickster deceives the village authorities into buying his mare, which, according to One-Ox himself, could defecate silver coins. In reality, One-Ox had found treasure by the wayside and stuffed the valuable coins into the horse's rectum. Which made it appear as if she were pooping silver.
Thus, both the magistrate and the priest buy the mare at great expense, and each of them takes care of her for a week, in turns. The first week, when she is at the priest's, the mare evacuates a single coin which had got stuck in her rectum. Imagine the priest's face!
Next week, when it's the magistrate's turn, the mare produces not a single nugget of silver. Thus, they decide to conspire and kill that trickster One-Ox (needless to say both authorities fail and they drown in a shipwreck!).

However, I remember how, as a child, I was shocked to read about a character emptying his rectum in what otherwise was a rather serious novel (this was before reading Tywin's death!). To be more precise, the male character in particular was the cultured and nice young lieutenant (who felt rather ashamed at lowering his trousers and doing what he had to do in the middle of a wasteland and in front of his men):

The lieutenant looked over at his men, who were completely
naked and he was overcome with a sudden urge to rebel. For a
few seconds he felt inclined to challenge him and even
exchanged a conspiratorial look with his soldiers, but they shook
their heads and the youngest one said despondently:
‘Don’t worry about us, lieutenant. Ajamuk will come and get
us.’

In stark contrast to this lieutenant's prudishness above is the scene of him emptying his... you get the picture:

The lieutenant had taken down his trousers and was squatting
some three meters away from the jeep.
The lieutenant snorted then looked around for the right kind
of stone to clean himself with. He got up and buttoned up his
trousers calmly.

In the original Spanish version, it went like this, being even more explicit:

El teniente contempló a sus hombres, completamente desnudos, y le invadió una profunda sensación de rebeldía. Por unos instantes estuvo a punto de oponerse, e incluso intercambió con ellos una mirada de inteligencia, pero negaron con un gesto, y el más joven señaló con voz cansada:
—No se preocupe por nosotros, teniente... Ajamuk vendrá a buscarnos.


El teniente se había bajado los pantalones y defecaba en cuclillas a no más de tres metros del jeep.
El teniente soltó un resoplido, buscó a su alrededor una piedra apropiada y se limpió con ella. Luego se puso en pie y se abrochó con parsimonia los pantalones.


miércoles, 25 de febrero de 2015

BEFORE LINNAEUS: MORE ON AUTOHYPONYMY

I have thought of this every morning. 1690s fairytale author Madame d'Aulnoy employing that usage of certain words that I still regard as being speciesist.
And by speciesist I mean that she uses "animaux" to refer exclusively to terrestrial fauna and "plantes" to refer solely to herbaceous flora.
Now these stories were written during the reign of Louis XIV, when people still clung to classical sources, half a year before Charles Linnaeus devised his classification of the natural kingdoms, so maybe Madame d'Aulnoy was steeped into a worldview in which neither "animaux" nor "plantes" meant what they mean to a present-day French speaker/reader.
At least, this was seventeenth-century France. Moving south of the Pyrinees into Habsburg-era Spain, we find a Castilian language that can distinguish between "animales" (all fauna) and "fieras" (terrestrial fauna) as well as between "plantas" (all flora) and "hierbas" (herbaceous flora), also decades before Linnaeus. In other words, this distinction existed in Spanish/Castilian while French, another Romance language, lacked it. 
These distinctions are called "semantic differentiation".
I'm thinking of all that. Why some pre-Linnaean languages had this distinction and others not...
Like Spanish, age-old Greek could and can tell between "zoon" [animals/fauna in general] and "therion" [beasts, terrestrial fauna] as well as between "botané" [plants/flora in general] and "phyton" [herbs, herbaceous flora], as well as between "ánthropos" [human/person in general] and "aner" [man, adult male human]. This last distinction is also relevant, since the same Grand Siècle French which had "animaux" to refer exclusively to terrestrial fauna and "plantes" to refer solely to herbaceous flora also had got "hommes" to refer to the whole human species, females and juveniles included. A third designation that a present-day French speaker or reader would find ridiculous.
Germanic languages in general, both before Linnaeus and present-day outside the scientific context (language spoken "on the street" and in fairytale children's literature), have got the person/man distinction, but not the animal/beast or plant/herb ones. In German, for instance: Menschen vs. Männer, Tiere [post-Linnaeus: Säuger], Pflanzen [post-Linnaeus: Kräuter]. This German example has the last two fuzzy cases of autohyponymy analogous to Madame d'Aulnoy's by me regarded as speciesist usage of "animaux" to refer exclusively to terrestrial fauna and "plantes" to refer solely to herbaceous flora in Louis XIV-era French, but the first case evidences a distinction not found by the use of "hommes" in the same era and context.
Still, in street and fairytale English, there are "men" and "people" as different concepts, but "animals" are only the beasts of the land and "plants" are only the herbs with thin stems. Not so in scientific English. Or in present-day Spanish, be it the language of the streets, that of fairytales written in Spanish (the translated ones are a different story), or that of the scientific community. In this context, the one into which I grew up and learned my mother tongue centuries after Linnaeus, there was a clear distinction between "personas" (humans in general) and "hombres" (adult male humans), between "animales" (fauna in general) and "cuadrúpedos" or "mamíferos" (terrestrial fauna in general and mammals in particular, both terms having replaced "fieras"), between "plantas" (flora in general) and "hierbas" (herbaceous flora).
What's more, this semantic change, in English, has been noted in various translations of the Bible.
The King James version of the Bible used "beasts" to refer to quadrupeds, while more modern biblical versions use "animals" for the same concept, as if to low out aerial and aquatic species from the kingdom of fauna. Personally, I prefer the King James approach, which retains the differentiation between fauna in general and terrestrial fauna.
In my own writing style, I follow Linnaean guidelines, even in fairytales and historical tales, to avoid lexical ambiguity. Which comes as no surprise given my Castilian and post-Linnaean worldview of the kingdoms of nature.
Perhaps this is the reason why I find the Madame d'Aulnoy example above, and those found in Germanic languages, so unsettling. Because my worldview finds these usages contradictory, and "not right". 
In fact, these designations are not merely fuzzy, but giving the name of a certain to me fixed-name set (Set 1) to that of a smaller set within the set (Set 2), referring to Set 2 by the name of Set 1 and thus, creating ambiguity by ostensibly excluding from what I believe to be Set 1 by its name, but actually is Set 2, many elements of Set 1. Giving Set 2 the name of Set 1 is what causes the ambiguity. 
This ambiguity can be expressed as a particular kind of false friendship: A certain signifier being employed in a certain culture and/or context to refer to a signified, and the same signifier used in a different culture and/or context to refer to a different signified.
Add the fact that both meanings of the signifier are a hypernym and one of its hyponyms, and what you have is the phenomenon known as autohyponymy, which would not exist if different signifiers were used for the different signified. 
This last case is what happens in Spanish or Greek (compared to everyday English, everyday German, or pre-Linnaean French) with the examples we discuss in this post.

It is the naming of these sets that we have discussed.
The act of giving both sets the same name, depending of the context and/or historical period,
creates inclusion and/or exclusion of elements from Set 1 into the denomination.

In my own writing style, I follow Linnaean guidelines, even in fairytales and historical tales,
to avoid lexical ambiguity.
Which comes as no surprise given my Castilian and post-Linnaean worldview
of the kingdoms of nature.


Which brings us back to the act of naming, sorting, and thus shaping the language according to the worldview. Or, in this case, shaping the worldview according to the language?
Then, are these distinctions and the resulting vagueness of their absence a problem of the chicken-or-the-egg kind? Did "animaux" and "plantes", as well as "Tiere" and "Pflanzen", pass on to designate the whole kingdom (that of fauna and that of flora, specifically) through broadening or widening, instead of narrowing, in the shift that the Linnaean system was for the worldviews of those who spoke the languages? Did these languages once possess a distinction like the ones found in Greek and Spanish, to gradually lose this distinction and find it again with the advent of Linnaeus?


This is a very different form of narrowing from, for instance, the case of "undertaker" ("one who undertakes anything" -> "mortician"). The case put here is rather one of a change in encyclopedic knowledge.

As for the motivation behind the semantic changes of this kind, I will classify it as "Cultural/encyclopedic forces" according to Blank, or "World view change (i.e., changes in the categorization of the world)" according to Grzega:

Changing World View, Changing Categorization of the World

We can speak of world view change when we refer to changes in the categorization of the world. It is not the referents that change, but the organisation of the content of the sign, the organization of the concept, the relevance of the referents in the world. This may, in turn, be due to a change of encyclopaedic knowledge, social and cultural habits etc.


Extra-linguistic forces can give rise to or contribute to the production of gradual or sudden semantic changes, as in the following cases:


 - Changes in world view: psukhḗ, in Homer, is what keeps a person alive, (Il. 5.296), but towards the end of the archaic period it is used to refer to the center of emotions, like thūmós (Anacr. fr. 360), or to something close to ‘character’ (Pind. Ιsthm. 4.53). In the classical period, the playwrights use psukhḗ as the center of emotions as well as a person's character (Aristoph. Ach. 393).This sense made psukhḗ appropriate for expressing in a general way the essence of something (Isoc., 7.14) and, as such, it acquires different meanings depending on the philosophical system in which it appears.


Lastly, blank identified the cultural or encyclopaedic motivation also referred to as specific motivations for concrete innovations for semantic change. Here, meaning is changed to accommodate the new or modified view of the world which could be a change in perspective, belief system, religion, education etc. 


To quote another example different from the autohyponymy of "animals" and "plants": the Sun and the Moon were once considered "luminaries". No one suspected that the Sun (as we now know) was a star like those in the night sky, since it appears far larger due to its proximity to Earth. And the Moon being ostensibly (seen from Earth) the size of the Sun, it came as no surprise that these two were grouped together!
Nowadays we know, and we take for granted, that the Sun is a star and the Moon is a moon (or natural satellite, to use another term... Furthermore, we use the name of our own "moon", with a lower-case "m", to refer to natural satellites in general! That is broadening/widening!).
Worldview change due to a change of encyclopaedic knowledge is what has brought on all these examples of autohyponymy, semantic change, false friendship, etcetera.

To put things in perspective, cross-linguistic difference suggest that different languages (id est, in the vernacular) develop different conventions for these words, which we would expect to be encoded in each language's lexicon.

But nevertheless, scientific terminology/discourse, as opposed to vernacular, has got to be trans-linguistic/international. International scientific discourse.

In linguistics, an internationalism or international word is a loanword that occurs in several languages with the same or at least similar meaning and etymology. These words exist in "several different languages as a result of simultaneous or successive borrowings from the ultimate source"Pronunciation and orthography are similar so that the word is understandable between the different languages.
European internationalisms originate primarily from Latin or Greek, but from other languages as well. Many non-European words have also become international.
Internationalisms often spread together with the innovations they designate. 
New inventions, political institutions, foodstuffs, leisure activities, science, and technological advances have all generated new lexemes and continue to do so: bionics, cybernetics, gene, coffee, chocolate, etc..
Some internationalisms are spread by speakers of one language living in geographical regions where other languages are spoken. 



PS. Written four months later
in June 2015

The case of /flora/ and /fauna/ vs. /herbs/ and /mammals/, respectively, can be explained in that the former pair of allosemata are of the scientific taxonomy, the latter of a folk taxonomy (which differs depending of the language, time period, context...)
Studies of folk taxonomies have shown that a word can recur on different levels of a single taxonomy.
What ticks me EVEN MORE about folk taxonomy is that it doesn't limit to animals (mammals or not) and plants (herbs or not), but also encompasses humans, depending of features such as their skin tone. In other words, the concept of race, as loathsome as speciesism, is part of folk taxonomy.
What to do to avoid the pitfalls of such a fallacious classification?
My solution, which may sound a little extreme, is to ditch folk taxonomies entirely. They are ambiguous, discriminate certain groups, and vary across languages: hence, they may cause confusion.
(As such, any folk taxonomy is comparable to the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge)
Such a decision may cause, for instance, a born Anglophone with disdain for academia wince... yet I, being Spanish and learned, have already established (since childhood) a worldview closer to Linnaean than to folk taxonomy. Thus, I was first exposed to Linnaean taxonomy. As a child. My view of this planet's animals and plants is shaped only by modern scientific language (since Spanish-language folk taxonomy happens to coincide, down to the class names, with scientific/Linnaean classification). And human race is not included on that menu. Believe it. All in the name of disambiguation and political correctness.

PS. Written in Gothenburg in a moment of fury
in late August 2015

Ah, my always occurring use of "animal" and "plant" only in their generic, Linnaean meanings, which are the most widely spread ones across languages...
To cut a long story short, this use is also done in the name of syncretism, for any reader, of any nationality, to understand the concepts when written in my works (I don't care for putting scientific terminology in my fairytales and fantasy fiction, which I, in fact, do all the freaking time). Something that my third-culture descent has helped me to grasp is that terminologies are meant to be syncretic and universal... Hence why I use them. Even if some people say it's putting a square peg in a round hole, or that academic terminology in children's literature, fantasy, and poetry is pearls before swine... I FREAKING DISAGREE.
Moving on to the concept of race: it's LOATHSOME. Both the concept of different human races, according in general to skin colour, and the belief that some of them are superior to others (and NOT ONLY "white" Caucasians have harboured this prejudice). It's freaking loathsome, the idea of races (As loathsome to me as that the English vernacular counts only quadrupeds as animals and only herbs as plants, which to me sounds both ILLOGICAL and SPECIESIST and an OFFENSE TO THE INTERNATIONAL LINNAEAN SYSTEM. At least there's English biological terminology, which luckily abides by Linnaean standards!)
So, race. To me, the only kind of race that matters is the one where two or more racers compete to get first to the finish line. The idea of human race, like the restricted senses of "animal", "plant", "finger", and "shoe", is ILLOGICAL AND COMPLETE BALDERDASH.
For I believe that, to erase all ambiguity from language and be crystal clear, the language must be PURGED of such balderdash and employ internationalisms in their broadest sense:
In linguistics, an internationalism or international word is a loanword that occurs in several languages with the same or at least similar meaning and etymology. These words exist in "several different languages as a result of simultaneous or successive borrowings from the ultimate source"Pronunciation and orthography are similar so that the word is understandable between the different languages.
European internationalisms originate primarily from Latin or Greek, but from other languages as well. Many non-European words have also become international.
Internationalisms often spread together with the innovations they designate. 
New inventions, political institutions, foodstuffs, leisure activities, science, and technological advances have all generated new lexemes and continue to do so: bionics, cybernetics, gene, coffee, chocolate, etc..
Some internationalisms are spread by speakers of one language living in geographical regions where other languages are spoken. 

PS. Written at Jaime I University
in January 2016

1. The Japanese language features zoon/thérion distinction between "ikimono" with the meaning of /living thing, creature/ and "kemono" with the meaning of /beast, mammal, quadruped/.
1.5. Old Saxon English (pre-1066) had "deer" (now used only and solely to refer to antlered ruminants) to translate the concept of "fera/bestia" and "wyrt/wort" (which lives on as in, for instance, Saint John's wort) to translate the concept of "(h)erba." This diachronic variant had no superordinate words (on level 0) to cover "all kinds of flora" or "all kinds of fauna."
2. Both Shakespeare and the King James Bible used "beast" and "wort/herb". The shift into "animal-2" and "plant-2" (those twos denote the restrictive specific sense idiosyncratic of English, while ones would be used to refer to the general sense) can be traced because both the new signifiers are testified in English translations of Mme. d'Aulnoy's fairytales, which employ the same restrictive senses, in the late seventeenth/early eighteenth century, when they were popular children's chapbooks. It is most likely that the new signifiers came over from French in the second half of the seventeenth century. I would have preferred them to come one century later, with Voltaire's fairytales that employed "animaux" and "plantes" at the superordinate level/in the general sense/on level 0, when Linnaean taxonomy was set in stone. Thus, there would be no autohyponymy and no discrepance between the vernacular and scientific contexts.
3. My worldview is based on scientific grounds, and thus, susceptible still to change. I was taught as a child that there were nine planets in our star system, but, when I became an adolescent, it changed in my mind's eye to the present-day eight planets, Pluto being re-sorted in my head as dwarf planet with Ceres and Eris (and now, the same category, to my twentyish present self, includes Makemake, Haumea, Sedna... as well). When I learned that crocodilians and avians are living dinosaurs, a similar shift occurred in my mind map, and now it even says that a chicken is a far closer relation to the late T. rex than, let's say, an emu.
4. But if we look back, things were far different in the past. Sometimes even stupid and banal. In Antony and Cleopatra, to return to the Bard, Roman soldiers who return to the capital of the Empire from exotic Egypt have lots of things to tell... Like, for instance, their experience with live Nile crocodiles.

LEPIDUS
What manner o' thing is your crocodile?
MARK ANTONY
It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad
as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is,
and moves with its own organs: it lives by that
which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of
it, it transmigrates.
LEPIDUS
What colour is it of?
MARK ANTONY
Of its own colour too.
LEPIDUS
'Tis a strange serpent.
MARK ANTONY
'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
Is that crocodile shaped like itself? That sounds a tad redundant, and a lot of the scene is funny because of that, but the most surprising thing is the croc being classified not as a beast, but as a serpent. All right, crocs are reptilian, oviparous, scaly... but there is one reason why I, even as a child, would with my Spanish/academic aspie worldview, not even in my dreams sort a croc as a serpent in my mind map. Legs. For me, a serpent, even if it is ostensibly a serpent (like the limbless lizard Anguis fragilis or slowworm [NOT a literal worm, since it is a vertebrate: and you can tell it's really a lizard when it loses its tail, as I have seen myself]), is limbless. A croc is not, and thus, for me, in my mind's eye, "croc: limbs: not serpent." 
5. You thought that was weird? In the Middle Ages, things were even fishier. Not only were all the marine invertebrates sorted as "fish": the same four-letter label was stuck on all the cetaceans, seals, aquatic turtles, amphibians, and even beavers. Basically, in medieval Western taxonomy, everything that moved underwater (in what comparative scholars of Indo-European languages and myths call the Lower World or *bhudhn-) was a fish. Which sounds pretty simplistic and childish to me: the Linnaean/modern European concept of fish I am used to relies on even more sememes and is far more precisely defined: aquatic, scaly, vertebrate, oviparous, water-breathing, etcetera.
6. Somehow, just like I prefer scientific/Linnaean/modern European taxonomy to folk taxonomies, I prefer contrast sets and command hierarchies (rank systems in organizations, lists of ranks) to taxonomies. contrast set is a bounded collection of items, each of which could fill the same slot in a given schema, syntactic structure, or other linguistic environment. Like: "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday." (Yes, I consider that the week begins on Monday --- due to my European birth and upbringing and to the ISO calendar [the I in ISO means International, if you care!]--- and I wonder why some Anglophones have to begin it on Sunday... it's like the specific use of "animals" and "plants", or the use of Imperial measures like feet, ounces, and degrees Fahrenheit, other things with the English language used outside academia that leave me flabberghasted... I think Monday at the start and Sunday at the end of the week makes far more sense. It's like having the moon and the sun on two matching bookends, and the books in between those bookends being stories on Tyr, Odin, Thor, Frigg/Frey/Freya, and Saturn/Surtur. Beginning with the moon and getting to know all the deities in between, then crowning it all with the sun at the end.) Or "Aries, Taurus, Gemini..." (reader, continue with the rest of the star signs up to Pisces, and, if you choose to pop Ophiuchus in, remember that it is located between Scorpio and Sagittarius). Or "one, two, three, four, five..." (you get the picture). Ranks... whether nobility (Western or Westerosi, not to mention my own fictive 'verses), organized religion, or the military within a complex human system is organized as a ladder, with or without the glass ceiling that prevents the commoners from breaking their limits by attaining a certainly high rank (the French ancien régime, before the Revolution; or Westeros, have got such glass ceilings), like Linnaean taxonomy and contrast sets, all of these provide order... A company with a rank ratio of one lieutenant or two, a half dozen noncoms, and twenty to thirty rankers makes it rather clear who are on top, like the tiers of a wedding cake. And so does a regiment led by a colonel and consisting of let's say a dozen or baker's dozen of such companies. Organizations like this one are instantly easy to grasp, when one knows the ranks and notices the rank ratio in numbers as well as the distinctives of the various ranks, more ostentatious the higher the position or rank and the more power that comes with it. A more extreme example would be the clergy of the Catholic Church: one single Pope, dozens of cardinals, oodles of bishops... down to the countless "rank and file." In addition to all that, there is something more I like that rank systems have got in common with scientific taxonomy and contrast sets: all of these language constructs are international and rarely vary across languages. After all, a scientific taxonomy is an inclusive strategy, designed for the purpose of analysis... and contrast sets and rank systems are so as well: international, inclusive strategies, that are as little ambiguous as possible and provide analytical inclusiveness

PS. Written at Jaime I University in a moment of fury
in February 2016

1) The folk taxonomy book on the Anglo-Saxon case study available on Google Books states that the cases of the /flora/ and /fauna/ vs. /herbs/ and /mammals/, respectively, are due to semantic widening or generalization (instead of narrowing/specialization). A clearer example would be brand names turned into common nouns to designate the product in general, such as "kleenex" (for /tissues/) or "super glue" (for /cyanoacrylates/), to quote two examples widespread across languages and worldviews (once more, for the sake of syncretism/internationalism).

2) Consider this excerpt from Frame Semantics, by Charles J. Fillmore: "VERTEBRATE and MAMMAL are terms whose employment fits a particular kind of interactional or contextual schema (that of scientific discourse). Suppose that you, hearing a splash in my backyard, were to ask me what that noise was, and suppose the fact is that my pet retriever fell in the family swimming pool. As a way of explaining the source of the noise, it would be very unnatural for me to say ‘A vertebrate fell in the pool’ or ‘A mammal fell in the pool.’ These terms seem to appear more natural in utterances used in acts of classifying, but seem unnatural when used in acts of referring. (Compiler's note: At least in informal English)."

3) THE POPE IS CATHOLIC
ALL CATHOLICS ARE CHRISTIANS
therefore,
THE POPE IS A CHRISTIAN
Now it's time to wax philosophical. Consider both of the premises and the conclusion. The Pope is a Christian, since the Pope is Catholic and all Catholics are Christians. Now add another premise:
ALL CHRISTIANS ARE HUMANS
therefore,
THE POPE IS A HUMAN
So: . The Pope is a Christian, since the Pope is Catholic and all Catholics are Christians. All Christians are humans, thus, the Pope is a human (as well).

4) According to Koskela (2005: 1), the phenomenon of vertical polysemy is also often treated as arising through a metonymic process or as involving a metonymic mapping. In vertical polysemy, a word form designates two (or more) distinct senses that are in a relationship of category inclusion or hyponymy. She agrees with Seto (1999, 2003), who affirms that treating vertical polysemy as metonymic relies on a metaphorical conception of categories and often effectively involves a confusion of taxonomic relations with meronymic part-whole relations. Seto (1999: 91) points out that metonymy is not the same thing as category extension because metonymy operates between two real world entities, and is based on “spatio-temporal contiguity as conceived by the speaker between an entity and another in the (real) world”. In contrast, category transfer is based on our knowledge of categories and how they are ordered in our mind. It thus relies on a relationship between conceptual categories. Despite the fact that general language concepts are structured taxonomically, surprisingly little has been said about taxonomic relations in semantics except to beg the question, and shove them into a back drawer. Kövecses and Radden (1998), for example, assert that vertical polysemy is motivated by the metonymy A CATEGORY FOR A MEMBER OF THE CATEGORY (when meaning is narrowed) and the metonymy A MEMBER OF A CATEGORY FOR THE CATEGORY (when the meaning is broadened). In Radden and Kövecses (1999), these same authors admit that there is a certain confusion between taxonomy and meronymy, but they feel justified in analyzing such relationships as metonymy. In Terminology, great emphasis is placed on vertical or hierarchical relationships, which are all crucial in the structuring of specialized knowledge domains. Vertical relations are IS_A and PART_OF relations (see 3.1.8). As is well-known, the IS_A relation reflects a TYPE-OF connection, which is the conceptual counterpart of hyponymy in language (the source of vertical polysemy). The PART_OF relation is the conceptual counterpart of meronymy in language. Metonymy is effectively based on the PART_OF relation, rather than the IS_A relation. The only possible justification for saying that the IS_A relation is also metonymic is to conceive a conceptual category metaphorically as a whole with its members constituting the parts that make up the category (Koskela 2005).
Metonymy is also instrumental in terminological variation (e.g. the use of the shortened versions of terms) and terminological relations (e.g. PART_OF and TYPE_OF), which is directly linked to vertical polysemy.

5) Grzega: world view change (i.e. changes in the categorization of the world due to improved encyclopedic knowledge, a change in philosophies or cultural habits).
“first-degree word murder, first-degree lexicide” and “creation of lexical life” = non-institutional linguistic pre- and proscriptivism, institutional linguistic pre- and proscriptivism, taboo, aesthetic-formal reasons, disguising language, world view change
Consider Grzega's study on the concept of /young human female/ and the transition from "maiden" to "wench" and "lass" to "girl" (which he claims is not rooted in worldview change, but in semantic deterioration and the euphemism treadmill [for /prostitute/]):
Lenker (1999: 11s.) reports that a basic world view change occurred during the 17th c., when children were gradually perceived not just as smaller versions of adults, but as weak and innocent. But this change does not seem to be in part responsible for any of the lexical innovations. The semantic restrictions all seem secondary. It can be observed, recurrently, that the words for the concept undergo semantic deterioration, i.e. they gradually denote “taboo” words; as a consequence, new terms have to be found for the neutral concept to avoid unintended associations [with euphemisms for /prostitute/!] (this is meant by “aesthetic-formal reasons”). If a word does not refer to a taboo concept, but equals a word referring to a taboo concept, its replacement can be said to go back to aesthetic-formal forces.
It can be observed, recurrently, that the words for the concept undergo semantic deterioration, i.e. they gradually denote “taboo” words; as a consequence, new terms have to be found for the neutral concept to avoid unintended associations [with euphemisms for /prostitute/!] (this is meant by “aesthetic-formal reasons”). If a word does not refer to a taboo concept, but equals a word referring to a taboo concept, its replacement can be said to go back to aesthetic-formal forces.
This phenomenon called euphemism treadmill can be seen in the following cases:

  •  /female dog/ "bitch" -> "female dog" ("bitch"-> /prostitute/)
  •  /young human female/ "lass," "wench" -> "girl," "maiden" ("lass," "wench" -> /prostitute/) Curiously: in German, "Dirne" underwent the same evolution as "wench:" 
"thiorna"/"Dirne" /young human female/ -> "Dirne" /prostitute/.
  • /unmarried human female/ "spinster" -> "bachelorette" ("spinster" -> /old, unattractive/)
  • /left/ across many languages: "sinistra" -> "izquierda" (es.), "esquerra" (cat.), "esquerda" (pt.), (from Basque "ezkerra" for /left/), "gauche" (fr. /awkward/), "stâng" (lt. "stancus/-a/-um" for "tired," "stagnant"); "winstre" (compare se. "vänster") -> "left" (/weak/); "aristerós" (/the best/, same root as /aristocracy/).
  • /bear/ in Russian ("medved," kenning meaning /honey eater/), /wolf/ in Swedish ("varg," kenning meaning /violent stranger/ [now that "varg" is no longer a euphemism, countryfolk say "grâben," i.e. /graylegs/]), and other fearsome predators which pose danger to humans: for the sake of respect
  • "The LORD" used for /God/ in Abrahamic religions
  • /death/: "the Grim Reaper," "der Sensemann," "la Catrina," "la Pálida Dama" (/death/ personified is masculine in Germanic cultures and feminine in Latin cultures)


6) These examples, then, show that overt marking of a referent can develop before the base term involved is extended referentially from an archetypal species to a generic class that is polytypic, i.e., a generic category including more than one labeled member. Returning to our Navaho example, it is, therefore, possible that the binomials "kat-nee-ay-li" 'strained juniper' and "kat-dil-tah'-li" 'cracked juniper' developed from the base term kat 'common juniper' before these species were included in a polytypic generic class of junipers labeled by "kat." In any case, binomialization necessarily developed either before or at the same time that juniper/common-juniper polysemy was realized. This is so because generic/type-specific polysemy logically cannot be in evidence unless the type-specific class contrasts terminologically with at least one other labeled class included in a generic category. Thus development of generic/ type-specific polysemy in such cases is necessarily dependent on prior, or simultaneous, development of at least one binomially labeled class. Finally, when juniper/common-juniper polysemy developed in Navaho, it did so in a way consonant with principles of lexical change: a term ("kat") for a highly salient referent, common juniper, expanded in reference to a referent of low salience, a previously unlabeled generic class of junipers. As biological taxonomies increase in size, the salience of type-specifics apparently decreases significantly while that of polytypic generic categories in which they are included is greatly augmented. This is indicated by the tendency of type-specific classes to develop binomial labels, while their counterparts in polysemy, polytypic generic classes, become labeled through use of nonpolysemous monomials (Berlin 1972:71). For example, in contemporary Navaho "kat", of course, designates both the common juniper and a generic class of junipers. If the generic class were to increase significantly in salience while the type-specific decreased significantly in salience, the latter category would become overtly marked vis-à-vis the former. In other words, "kat" plus some modifier would develop as a label for the common juniper, while unmodified, and now nonpolysemous, "kat" would continue to designate the generic category. Such a development is partially analogous to the "deer"/"sheep" example outlined earlier, in which a term for salient native deer is extended to nonsalient, recently introduced sheep and a major reversal in the salience of these referents leads to overt marking of deer and use of the base term for sheep. In this example there is also a phase in which sheep is overtly marked relative to deer. On the other hand, generic classes of biological taxonomies are only very rarely labeled by overt marking constructions. This indicates that the salience of polytypic generic categories, at first polysemously encoded, increases both rapidly and significantly after they are lexically distinguished.
According to Brent Berlin, the unique-beginner class (level 0) will not develop until categories of all five other ranks have been encoded.

BOX 2.6 MISMATCH: LINNAEAN NAMES TO FOLK TAXONOMY AND VICE VERSA Discrepancies between Linnaean and folk taxonomy are widespread, and these differences must be taken into account. Firstly, they may refer to chemical, genetic or morphological differences not considered by Linnaean taxonomists, and which indicate useful qualities for plant breeding or phytochemistry. They also indicate the need to get scientists to take note of folk taxonomy. Secondly, they are important when resource management priorities are being discussed – for example, species recorded under a single name which actually represent more than one species of different conservation status, as when an endemic species with restricted distribution has the same name as a widespread, non-endemic species. This can apply to both Linnaean and folk taxonomic systems. In the early 1980s, I collected several voucher specimens of a commonly eaten wild spinach in the Ingwavuma district, South Africa. These were all identified scientifically as Asystasia gangetica, yet locally identified as two separate species with different habitat preferences and local Tembe-Thonga names. The first, known as "isihobo", was widespread, growing in fallow fields and along forest margins, with thin leaves that were not particularly tasty. The second local name, "umaditingwane", referred to a robust, fleshy-leaved species growing on coastal dunes with leaves ‘as good as meat’ to eat. These were even selected for cultivation at home because they were so tasty. A few years later, on the basis of this local knowledge, "umaditingwane" was more carefully examined and described as a ‘new’ separate species, Asystasia pinguifolia – a regional endemic along the Mozambique coastal plain – in belated accordance with the local folk taxonomy.

7) Adrienne Lehrer/Anu Koskela: vertical polysemy is a reflex of prototype structure (in the standard English worldview, for example, the prototypical "cup" is a /teacup/, the prototypical "shoe" is /ankle-high/, the prototypical "rectangle" is /non-equilateral/, the prototypical "finger" is the /index/, the prototypical "plant" is /herbaceous/, etcetera...):
Another kind of argument against analysing vertical meaning variation as polysemy is presented by Lehrer (1990a). She considers the relationship between "cup" and "mug" and maintains that the fact that "cup" can either include (/larger/) "mugs" or exclude them does not amount to polysemy, but is rather a reflex of the prototype structure of the /vessel/ category. That is, the flexible boundaries of "cup" can either be construed more narrowly, just including prototypical /teacups/ (small vessels commonly used with a saucer), or more broadly, also including /mugs/ and /bowls with handles/ as more marginal members. The same prototypical/marginal structure applies to the cases of (/non-equilateral/ or not) rectangle, (/non-opposable/ or not) finger, (/terrestrial vertebrate/ or not) animal, (/herbaceous/ or not) plant, and (/ankle-high/ or not) shoe. However, although the meaning variation of cup and many other A-terms is motivated by prototype category structure, their broader and narrower readings are more than just variants of a single prototype category. There is a significant difference between the broader and narrower readings in these cases, to the extent that the readings can be shown to have different truth conditions. This is a traditional ambiguity criterion, according to which an ambiguous word can be simultaneously true and false of the same referent (Quine 1960). Consequently, a word can be held to be ambiguous if it can occur in sentences of the form p and not p – which is shown to be the case for the broader and narrower readings of cup in (2). A1 and A2 readings can also give rise to genuine ambiguity in some contexts, as was demonstrated by (1) above. (2)
A mug is a cup [A1, /drinking vessel/ in general] but it is not a cup [A2, prototypical /teacup/].
The meaning variation of some A-terms can therefore look like vagueness from one perspective, and from another show symptoms of ambiguity. Such cases can be accounted for in a model of word meaning where the distinction between ambiguity and vagueness is seen as a matter of degree.

8) Cross-linguistic differences (why are these distinctions not encoded and these A2 readings not triggered in German, Spanish, or Swedish?): vertical polysemy not consistent (for example: Modern Spanish worldview vs. Modern English worldview). Anu Koskela echoing Thomas Becker; different languages have developed different conventions for different signifiers:
Significantly, vertical polysemy is also not always found cross-linguistically in translational equivalents. Indeed, Becker (2002) notes that the /non-opposable/ A2 reading is not triggered for the German "Finger." If the narrower reading were purely pragmatic, we would expect to also find it in German, to the extent that pragmatic inferences are language-independent (as is assumed at least in classical Gricean theory). But these cross-linguistic differences suggest that English and German have developed different conventions for "finger" and "Finger," which we would expect to be encoded differently in each language’s lexicon.

9) "Contrastive aspects," from Meaning in Language:
 The taxonomies of different languages can differ not only in the names of the
categories, but also in which categories are recognized. A few examples of this 
will suffice. Take first the term animal in English, in its everyday sense of 
quadruped. 

There is no everyday term in English for members of the animal king- 
dom: animal in this sense (as in the animal kingdom) only 
occurs in technical registers. 
Strange as it may seem to English speakers,
there is no such category in French, and it is difficult to explain to speakers of 
French exactly what the category comprises.
The French word animal designates all members of the 'animal kingdom'. 
The nearest equivalent to this in English, although it does not belong to the 
same register as the French word, is creature. There is thus no single word 
translation of animal in, for instance, The Observer's Book of British Wild 
Animals; it has to be rendered as something like Les Mammifères, Reptiles et 
Amphibiens Sauvages de la Grande Bretagne. Another similar case is nut in 
English, which again has no equivalent in French (nor in German). For Eng- 
lish speakers, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds belong to a single category, 
namely that of nuts; there is no such category for a French speaker (or 
thinker!). (There is a botanical category of 'dry fruit', but most French 
speakers do not know it.) Other examples: in French, une tarte aux pommes is 
a kind of gâteau, but an apple tart is not a kind of cake; in French, la marme- 
lade belongs firmly in the category of confiture, but marmalade is felt by 
English speakers not to be a kind of jam; in German, an Obstgarten is a kind 
of Garten, but an orchard is not a kind of garden for an English speaker. These 
sorts of examples could be multiplied indefinitely. 
Languages typically show differences in respect of the way wholes are divided 
into lexically distinguished parts, although there are reasons to believe that the 
underlying principles are more or less universal. This means that differences 
are mostly confined to (i) different groupings of the same smaller units, and (ii) 
differences in how far subdivision is carried. Radically non-congruent divi- 
sions are rare. An example of (i) is provided by English and Modern Greek in 
respect of divisions of the arm. In English, hand extends to the wrist and no 
further; in Modern Greek (which is not unique in this respect), xeri goes up to 
the elbow. There is a parallel relation between foot and podi: the latter extends 
to the knee. Notice that both systems respect the joints as natural boundaries 
for parts. Which part of xeri is being referred to in a particular instance is left 
to context to determine (there is rarely any ambiguity). But since the part of 
xeri which corresponds to hand is the most salient part, and overwhelmingly 
the most frequently involved in activities and so on, in the vast majority of 
contexts, little is lost by translating, or otherwise equating hand and xeri. 

The other type of difference appears when one language provides finer 
divisions than another. One might say, for instance, that pommette in French is 
a subdivision of the part denoted in English by cheek (and French joue). The 
pommette is the rounded part of the cheek over the cheekbone; cheekbone will 
not do as an equivalent, because one cannot say She has red cheekbones, 
whereas in French one can say Elle a les pommettes rouges (this would go 
into English as red cheeks). Another example is the Turkish word ense, 
which means "back of the neck". It is worth asking whether the absence 
of an English equivalent for pommette or ense represents a lexical gap or a 
conceptual gap. This distinction is by no means always easy to make, although 
there are clear cases. For instance, for French speakers, there is no natural 
category to which peanuts, almonds, and walnuts belong (English "nuts"), nor 
one which includes rabbits and frogs and crocodiles, but excludes aerial and
aquatic fauna (English vernacular "animals"). 
Here we have a conceptual gap. On the other hand, 
English speakers would probably agree that there was a useful concept of 
"animal locomotion", but since we have no verb denoting just that, we can 
speak of a lexical gap. In the case of pommette, there is probably a conceptual 
gap: English speakers feel no need to single out this area of the cheek. The 
case of ense (cf. French nuque) is less clear. The concept is easy enough to 
grasp for English speakers, but then so are concepts like "the right side of the 
head" and "the underside of the tongue", which English speakers can con- 
strue when necessary, but which would not be felt to be salient enough to merit 
lexical recognition. It might also be relevant to ask whether there is any sign of 
(incipient) lexification of back of the neck, such as non-compositional speci- 
ficity of meaning (as in the case of blackbird), or morphological evidence such 
as the existence of fingertip, but not 
*nosetip alongside tip of the finger and tip 
of the nose: these would point to the emergence of a lexifiable concept. All 
things considered, my intuition is that ense, like pommette, does not designate 
a viable concept for an English speaker. 

Meronomic systems of different languages also differ in the way analogous 
parts of different wholes are grouped for naming purposes. For instance, in 
French, the handle of a door, the handle of a suitcase, and the handle of a 
pump would be given different names (for a door, bouton (if round, otherwise 
poignee); for a suitcase, poignée; for a pump, manivelle). They may also differ 
in the way similar parts of the same whole are grouped for naming purposes. 
In English there is a sense of finger tagged with the condition 'non-opposable' 
(as well as one inclusive: five-finger exercises). 
In Turkish (like in many other languages: Spanish, Swedish, French, German...),
only the inclusive sense exists, and these can be 
distinguished by expressions such as biiytik parmagi 
("big finger"— cf. English big toe). 

One further point deserves mention. Many languages designate the digits of 
the hand and those of the foot by unrelated terms {finger, toe); many others, 
however, call the digits of the foot by a name equivalent to foot-fingers (e.g. 
doigts de pied in French). It is claimed that the reverse process, naming the 
fingers hand-toes, never occurs, and that this is motivated by the cognitive 
salience of the hand as opposed to the foot. This may well be the case, but 
perhaps the claim should not be made too strongly. I would not find it 
unnatural to refer to the heel of the hand. 
To put another example, there's the grue phenomenon: some languages have got the same word for /green/ and /blue/. (And let us not talk about languages that have separate words in their vernacular for /deep red/ and /light red/ and/or /deep blue/ and /light blue/: Russian makes both distinctions. Experiments with Russians and Western Europeans told to organize in a scale various shades of red and blue show Russians did this exercise better!). Grue languages have been studied A LOT. They're the fruitfly of contrastive aspects in categorization. In the sense that they have been studied as much as the fruitfly DNA by biologists.

  • fuzzy difference between superordinate and subordinate term due to the monopoly of the prototypical member of a category in the real world
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis says that the worldview of children is learned with the languages of their childhood:
1) If there are structural differences between two languages, then there are also differences in the habits of thought that their respective speakers have.
2) Through the acquisition of one's native language, one also acquires a worldview which is not easily changed in later life.

I am Spanish and half-Swedish, my encoding/categorization of the world is derivated from these languages, which are inclusive or "lumpers". Besides, my Asperger syndrome gives me a worldview more devoid of pragmatics and social usage. These are the factors that make my idiolect one devoid of vertical polysemy.
Spanish cases of vertical polysemy (which does not exist in modern Swedish or German) are rare: "rectángulo" (non-equilateral or not) and "planta" (herbaceous or not) for autohyponymy; and "brazo" (whole arm or upper arm) for automeronymy, are practically the only ones I can think of.

Q2. What are universal and language(culture)-specific linguistic meanings?


e.g. SEE (Wierzbicka)

  (a semantic primitive)

   tense markers  
    English – 3: present, past, future
  Hopi - no tense marker
 in contrast to English and other SAE languages, the Hopi language does not treat the flow of time as a sequence of distinct, countable instances, like “three days” or “five years” but rather as a single process and consequentially it does not have nouns referring to units of time.

Latin terms for rock/stone, Saami terms for snow...

Does language affect thought?
Could the Romans more readily perceive different types of stone than us (ditto the Saami for types of snow)? According to Whorf, the answer would be yes.

The narrower readings of autohyponyms and automeronyms in English are, long story short, culture-specific concepts.

Like that of ilunga
A Bantu word considered the hardest among words to translate, "ilunga" refers to /a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time/.
The way it sounds.
Mona Baker gives some of the common non-equivalents for translation of culture-specific concepts:
d) The source and target languages make different distinction in meaning 
e) The TL lacks a superordinate
f) The TL lacks a specific term (hyponym) 

The gaps we are studying hitherto are translational gaps due to lexicalization differences.
Lexicalization differences: the source and target languages lexicalize the same concept with a different kind of lexical unit (word, compound, or collocation) or one of the two languages has no lexicalization for a concept (lexical unit vs. free combination of words). In the latter case we have a so-called lexical gap. Ex: private = soldato semplice/soldado raso (collocation); to dam = sbarrare con una diga (gap). See [MARELLO 1989, VINAY AND DARBELNET 1977].

- Papuan natives had never seen cattle until colonialism came along. Their word for bull/cow means literally "huge pig with teeth on forehead".
- Spanish, Catalan, and Romanian lack a single word (lexical unit) for /shallow/, which needs circumlocution as "poco profundo"/ "poc profon" / "puţin adânci".

LEXICAL AMBIGUITY:

THE HORSE RACED PAST THE BARN FELL.
("fell" can mean "mountain", also "raced" can be short for "[which] had raced").

THE OLD MAN THE BOAT. ("man" is the verb; the boat has a crew of old people.)

THE OLD TRAIN THE YOUNG (ditto, "train" is the verb.)

AMANAP LANAC A NALP A NAM A
A MAN A PLAN A CANAL PANAMA
How to translate this palindrome without sacrificing anything?


Martin Hilpert on grue, Sapir-Whorf, and the German concept of Soße (German is, like Swedish and Spanish, another lumper language), among other related topics.
Currently, the Swedish lumper usage of "sâs" is endangered by a host of Anglicisms (topping, dressing...). So please, if you want Swedish to retain its CWE (Continental Western European -as opposed to both Slavic and Anglo) worldview, please Save Our Sås!!!

WRITTEN ON THE 8TH OF MARCH, MMXVII
Actually, Voltaire used in his stories the terms "animaux" and "plantes" as level 0/kingdom/unique beginner taxa. Again, Voltaire was a contemporary of Linnaeus. François Marie Arouet the Younger wrote his stories decades after the grand siècle works of Madame d'Aulnoy... and, furthermore, he was always au jour when it came to science and the arts.
OOOOOH, I mentioned Voltaire already right above and thought I had forgotten to mention him (LOUD THWACK OF EPIC FACEPALMING)!!!

27th of August, MMXVII
According to Maxim Rousseau, "On the other hand, a synthetically made or naturalised scientific term, found in everyday speech, gains features that are indicative of folk biology terms and starts being used with regard to the more narrow denotation --the basic lifeform. This..."
Maksim Russo collected the recurrent morphological patterns behind these shifts in connection with the project Catalogue of Semantic Shifts in the Languages of the World, at the Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (2008), led by Anna Zalizniak. http://semshifts.iling-ran.ru/

lunes, 23 de febrero de 2015

2ND ANNIVERSARY OF THIS BLOG SONG

I forgot to write the anniversary post on Valentine's Day to commemorate the second anniversary of this blog. So guess I'd do it now...
WITH A MODERN MAJOR PARODY!!!

GET READY FOR THIS SONG!







This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!
Two years ago, in mid-February, on the day of Valentine,
a brisk young lass had an idea that she thought would be divine.
For, namely, she had homework on her life's first blog for English class,
and finding theme proved at first difficult so she thought off her ass...
(Pardon my French!)
Then she thought of her interest in fiction worlds and literature,
(Literature... What now?)
And soon of what her weblog would say she was no more insecure!

And soon of what her weblog would say she was no more insecure!

And soon of what her weblog would say she was no more insecure!
And soon of what her weblog would say she was no more inse-inse-insecure!

She's written about Shakespeare, about Dickens too, and Andersen,

and themes of more popular fiction, and all that she rambles then...
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!


















There has been much talk here about the Bard of Avon's tragedies,
and one of them has even been retooled into a travesty.
Of fairytales and children's fantasy there has been a fair share,
and we have added new ingredients into age-old kidlit ware...
The fates of the Tyrells, of the Baratheons, and Lannisters,
and some talk about chemicals which we still keep in canisters...
Add frogs, theodicy, puns, and some early modern history...
(Early modern history... This one's easy!)
And the content of this blog is to newcomers no mystery!

And the content of this blog is to newcomers no mystery!

And the content of this blog is to newcomers no mystery!
And the content of this blog is to newcomers no misty misty mystery!

At first only high literature, but soon this site's broad repertoire

has spread in all directions, even Spanish titles of film noir...
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!









We have covered the story of that proud and dark-skinned general,

who killed his darling lady wife, though she was pure, indelible.
Though we've stressed more the role of that great traitor who was catalyst,
as praised by one John Eglinton, that Shakespeare-loving analyst!
For Iago pulled the strings of every other chara's daily life,
though there was only one immune, and that was his own lady wife...
Even though I disagree that it was all for that lieutenancy...
(That lieutenancy? Come on!)
At the end of the day, all was revealed, though no one was in ecstasy!

At the end of the day, all was revealed, though no one was in ecstasy!
At the end of the day, all was revealed, though no one was in ecstasy!
At the end of the day, all was revealed, though no one was in epic ecstasy!

And the dashing young lieutenant, we'll say, happy ever after lived.

Though everyone is dead, the establishment did lastly him forgive...
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!










In Andersen's Snow Queen, the Fourth and middle one of seven tales

has always been my favourite, another theme that here prevails.
There's this lovely clever princess who reads all the world's periodicals,
and wants to find a Mr. Right for discussions methodical.
Every suitor at the royal court was baffled and stuck in a rut,
but there came a handsome young man who was modest and up didn't shut...
In the end, Andersen says, "he was as pleased with her as she with him!"
("He was as pleased with her as she with him!" One of my favourite phrases!)
A relationship ensued, he felt with her as she at ease with him!

A relationship ensued, he felt with her as she at ease with him!

A relationship ensued, he felt with her as she at ease with him!
A relationship ensued, he felt with her as she felt pleased, at ease with him!

Though the Seventh Story tells they're travelling abroad on honeymoon,

these could be the heroes of their very own story, spun off late or soon...
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!











This blog has also been a shrine to early modern history,
Enlightenment and Counter-Reformation have no mystery.
And there's been much talk about a great bloodshed, war that lasted thirty years
and of warlords that fought then for freedom, their deaths wept with heartfelt tears...
Like old Count Tilly, brash Pappenheim, or wealthy upstart Wallenstein,
whose eerie personality was not even second to Frankenstein!
And each sixth of November, readers are recalled to Lützen's plain...
(Lützen's plain... Remember why?)
Where hero king Gustavus of the Swedes lies among Lützen's slain!

Where hero king Gustavus of the Swedes lies among Lützen's slain!
Where hero king Gustavus of the Swedes lies among Lützen's slain!
Where hero king Gustavus of the Swedes lies among Lützen's gallant slain!

And of clever Queen Christina, and her broken mother Eleanor,
whose passionate love for her spouse was beyond death, for evermore.
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!






In fact, having discovered the reason why old Christianity

had swept progress of empires, saying it all was profanity...
Didn't know that earthly power is such an intoxicating drug,
whose effects have scarcely changed, a mind-usurping, yet high-rating drug.
And why ever will this teal-blue planet ne'er get rid of suffering,
which hope and optimism, fortunately, serve for buffering...
For hope had also been locked by the gods within Pandora's box...
(Pandora's box? Why did she open the lid?)
She was weak and she was curious, and thus she once put before us knocks...

She was weak and she was curious, and thus she once put before us knocks...

She was weak and she was curious, and thus she once put before us knocks...
She was weak and she was curious, and thus she once put before us and to bore us knocks...

Though the magic spot where discord never entered never did exist,

there's Leipzig-born old Leibniz, showing us how we should this resist
(and that's by being optimists!)!
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!














Last year, we made forays into the well-known realm of Westeros,
where, though the battles and intrigues, they nearly never pester us...
The Iron Throne-based Lannisters and other aristocracy,
but never do forget outsider groups or meritocracy...
When Renly died, I cried... I wept as much when Robb Stark lost his head...
But 'twas Dornishman Oberyn's painful end that filled me most with dread...
(sobbing)
On the other hand, I celebrated the whole day when Joffrey wed...
(When Joffrey wed! Shall I tell you how it happened? All right!)
He drank his wine, he choked, he reeled, he'd swallowed strychnine: JOFF WAS DEAD!

He drank his wine, he choked, he reeled, he'd swallowed strychnine: JOFF WAS DEAD!

He drank his wine, he choked, he reeled, he'd swallowed strychnine: JOFF WAS DEAD!
He drank his wine, he choked, he reeled, he'd swallowed strychnine: JOFF, THAT BLOODY TOFF, DROPPED OFF, DROPPED DEAD!

As for eunuchs: Varys still lives, Theon Greyjoy's got Stockholm syndrome.

And every single Stark child is now struggling worlds away from home.
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!








We've covered Luna Lovegood, Ty Lee, many a hyperactive girl...
and we've been fighting for our rights, like Enjolras, truly, in this active world...
And we've talked much about loanwords, being fond of lexicology,
so the terms for ranks cover up more than half our anthology.
Wrote in Swedish, French, Spanish, German, Croatian, Hungarian,
and quoted some Valyrian as spoken by Targaryens...
There's been book reviews, and film reviews, and even some reviews of songs
(Just look at our blog!)
Though we've written some disclaimers to alert those who thought our views were wrong...

Though we've written some disclaimers to alert those who thought our views were wrong...
Though we've written some disclaimers to alert those who thought our views were wrong...
Though we've written some disclaimers to alert those who thought our views were extreme and were wrong...

For the mistress of this blog is neither Fascist nor a Communist,
and respects all religions: only zealotry has got her pissed.
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!

















Whenever a plot bunny e'er within this tangled head was born,
it soon within these pages to an adult rabbit full was grown.
A fic, a filk, some art, a joke, a pun, a short translated piece...
had soon here come to light: so now they come in more than threes...
Ringstettens and Baratheons come in the form of feuilletons,
a legacy of those novels once published in newspaper tonnes!
As Rin and Len Kagamine, or life at the Ringstettens' hearth...
(The Ringstettens... and what more?)
Last autumn, Days of Victories... and don't forget Brienne of Tarth!

Last autumn, Days of Victories... and don't forget Brienne of Tarth!
Last autumn, Days of Victories... and don't forget Brienne of Tarth!
Last autumn, Days of Victories... and don't forget Brienne the gallant Maid of Tarth!

The Apple, Pear, and Plum was for our Spanish fans a Yuletide gift,
and now a Haft Paykar in Westeros is taking many a shift...
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!



Now what would this blog be without a single verse of poetry?
A tiresome prose rant that would never be that good authority.
Nine Muses helped me get most of my idols on this pegasus,
starting with Count Carl Snoilsky, Englished by me myself for pleasure's fuss.
And all forgotten poets of the lovely age Victorian,
left in the shade of Dickens for the literary historian.
Remember Frederick Swinborne, the Keary sisters, Eliza Cook...
(Keep these names on your mind, dear readers!)
I recommend their verse taken from archive.org or Google Books!

I recommend their verse taken from archive.org or Google Books!
I recommend their verse taken from archive.org or Google Books!
I recommend their verse taken from archive dot org or from Google Books!

Some other Swedes, like Karin Boye or Carl Wilhelm Böttiger,
as Englished by me as sundry verses from Faust by Goethe, he!
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!













And so it's been two years of sharing what we have to offer now,
but we've not yet exhausted the full content of out coffer now.
To quaff, to quell, to quench, to question being always on our mind,
ensuring that this effort has made this fine blog one of a kind.
Reviewing Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella, with its view of war...
while Close, and Shut, and Lock will fight the Princess Cures over and o'er...
And, as for Brienne of Evenfall, we hope Book Six is not her last...
(WE SERIOUSLY HOPE SHE LIVES THROUGH THE WINDS OF WINTER!)
For we of the Maid of Tarth's fanbase think she deserves quite long to last!

For we of the Maid of Tarth's fanbase think she deserves quite long to last!
For we of the Maid of Tarth's fanbase think she deserves quite long to last!
For we of the Maid of Tarth's fanbase think she deserves quite long, yes, decades long, to last!

Ever since two thousand thirteen, for these two years, it's undoubtable
that the fruit of our passion has become something redoubtable!
This month we celebrate this lovely blog-site's anniversary,
a fête interdicted to every uncultured adversary!