Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “language”

The Etymology of “Hangover”
The Etymology of “Hangover”

What George Washington and coarse French fabric have to do with the language of drunkenness.

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Words David Foster Wallace’s Mom Invented
Words David Foster Wallace’s Mom Invented

Because language is a living organism and creativity the sum total of our life experience.

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A Visual Alphabet-Dictionary of Unusual Words
A Visual Alphabet-Dictionary of Unusual Words

A visual A-Z of the hidden treasures of language.

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To Do: Gertrude Stein’s Posthumous Alphabet Book
To Do: Gertrude Stein’s Posthumous Alphabet Book

“Don’t bother about the commas which aren’t there, read the words. Don’t worry about the sense that is there, read the words faster.”

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Animated Anatomy of Shakespearean Slurs
Animated Anatomy of Shakespearean Slurs

Heartless hinds, fishmongers, and lots of thumb-biting.

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Thoughtful Alphabets: Edward Gorey’s Lost Cryptic 26-Word Illustrated Stories
Thoughtful Alphabets: Edward Gorey’s Lost Cryptic 26-Word Illustrated Stories

A delightfully dark journey into the love of language.

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Susan Sontag on Aphorisms and the Commodification of Wisdom
Susan Sontag on Aphorisms and the Commodification of Wisdom

“Aphoristic thinking is impatient thinking.”

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We Got Merge: Noam Chomsky on the Cognitive Function that Made Language Evolve
We Got Merge: Noam Chomsky on the Cognitive Function that Made Language Evolve

“You got an operation that enables you to take mental objects … already constructed … and make bigger mental objects out of them.”

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Hippopposites: A Minimalist Lesson in Opposites and Aesthetics for Little Designers
Hippopposites: A Minimalist Lesson in Opposites and Aesthetics for Little Designers

Navigating the complex web of simple terms with the help of a red hippo.

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Ounce Dice Trice: Exploring the Whimsy of Words in Extraordinary Names for Ordinary Things
Ounce Dice Trice: Exploring the Whimsy of Words in Extraordinary Names for Ordinary Things

Cartography for the land of linguistic imagination.

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