Orwell was wrong: doublethink is as clear as languag... Everyone remembers Newspeak, the straitjacketed version of English from George Orwell’s novel 1984 (1949). In that dystopia, Newspeak was a language designed by ideological technicians to make politically incorrect thoughts literally inexpressible. Fewer people know that Orwell also worried about the poverty of our ordinary, unregimented vocabulary. Too often, he believed, we lack the words to say exactly what we mean, and so we say something else, something in the general neighbourhood, usually a lot less nuanced than what we had in mind; for example, he observed that ‘all likes and dislikes, all aesthetic feeling, all notions of right and wrong… spring from feelings which are generally admitted to be subtler than words’. His solution was ‘to invent new words as deliberately as we would invent new parts for a motor-car engine’. This, he suggested in an essay titled ‘New Words’ (1940), might be the occupation of ‘several thousands of… people.’ Get Aeon straight to your inbox Video
Hobo Two hobos walking along railroad tracks after being put off a train. One is carrying a bindle. Etymology Tramps and hobos are commonly lumped together, but see themselves as sharply differentiated. A hobo or bo is simply a migratory laborer; he may take some longish holidays, but soon or late he returns to work. A tramp never works if it can be avoided; he simply travels. History Cutaway illustration of a hobo stove, an improvised portable heat-producing and cooking device, utilizing air convection It is unclear exactly when hobos first appeared on the American railroading scene. In 1906, Professor Layal Shafee, after an exhaustive study, put the number of tramps in the United States at about 500,000 (about 0.6% of the U.S. population). The number of hobos increased greatly during the Great Depression era of the 1930s. With no work and no prospects at home, many decided to travel for free by freight train and try their luck elsewhere. Life as a hobo was dangerous. Books
American Red Cross FR150 Microlink Solar-Powered, Self-Powered AM/FM/Weatherband Portable Radio with Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger (Red): Electronics Creating The World's Greatest Anagram "It's supposed to look unlabored." ~ poet Christian Bök on anagrams If the poem above brings you some holiday cheer, know this: Those 56 lines are an anagram of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas. Yes, if you take Clement Parke Moore's famed yuletide poem, pretend the title is "The Night Before Christmas" (it's actually called "A Visit From St. Anagrams have a certain mysticism. There's a reason people believed "Elvis Lives". But those are the short ones. Canadian avant-garde poet Christian Bök has published some of the Internet's favorite anagrams. "It should look inevitable," he says. Creation reaction Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid In February of 2007, in the front window of a nondescript New York bookstore, the text pictured above appeared. "It is nothing short of perfect," Lexier says. There could be other permutations of Lexier's initial text, but Bök added his own "subsidiary constraints", a practice for which he's become popular in the avant-garde poetry world. Lego ogle Stasis assist
Hoboglyphs: Secret Transient Symbols & Modern Nomad Codes Morse code Chart of the Morse code letters and numerals. Morse code is a method of transmitting text information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment. The International Morse Code encodes the ISO basic Latin alphabet, some extra Latin letters, the Arabic numerals and a small set of punctuation and procedural signals as standardized sequences of short and long signals called "dots" and "dashes", or "dits" and "dahs". Because many non-English natural languages use more than the 26 Roman letters, extensions to the Morse alphabet exist for those languages. Each character (letter or numeral) is represented by a unique sequence of dots and dashes. The duration of a dash is three times the duration of a dot. Morse code is most popular among amateur radio operators, although it is no longer required for licensing in most countries. Development and history A typical "straight key." User proficiency
A Way with Words | Jump Steady To transmit information during wartime, various industries used to encode their messages letter by letter with an elaborate system–a primitive version of today’s digital encryption. Grant breaks down some of those secret codes, and shares the story of the most extensive telegram ever sent. Plus, we’ve all been there: Your friends are on a date, and you’re tagging along. Are you a “third wheel”–or the “fifth wheel”? This episode first aired November 20, 2015. Download the MP3. Cipher and Secret Letter CodeGreat news for scavenger-hunt designers, teenage sleepover guests, and anyone else interested in being cryptic! Fifth Wheel vs. Happy Birthday Without a Shirt! Gentleman’s GrottoA follow up to our discussion on man caves; one listener suggests we try to popularize the term “gentleman’s grotto.” Yuppies, Dinks, and SilksWe spoke on the show not long ago about yuppies and dinks, but neglected to mention silks: households with a single income and lots of kids. Photo by Annie McManus Thorne.
Flyby | The blog of The Harvard Crimson Hundreds of high school prefrosh will be coming to campus this weekend, phones in hand, thumbs at the ready. In high school, texting was all about the abbreviations and acronyms. Cool texters were the ones who could throw around g2g, LOL, and idk without a second thought. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. How to Shop for a Two-Way Radio If there is a disaster in your area, whether it’s an earthquake, a hurricane, or economic collapse, there is likely to be a breakdown in communication systems. Land-line phones could be down and cell phone towers might be jammed. If you and your family are at home and have decided to bug in, this might not seem like a problem. But what if your spouse is at work when the shtf, say in an office building on the other side of town? Features to look at when shopping for a two-way radio: BatteriesCall FeaturesChannelsDisplayFrequenciesKeypad LockPrivacy CodesRangeSizeWeather Alerts 1. . by SunJia and I’ve been very happy with it. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what radio is best for you and your family. . .
Dinter, bitz and gwop: a guide to youth slang in 2016 If you struggle to understand the teenagers and young people around you when they call their schoolfriend a durkboi and try to cadge some peas, you are not alone. The idea that they are communicating in a different language from their parents has been the subject of excited chatter on parenting websites and among some researchers. A defining characteristic of youth slang is thought to be its faddishness – the fact that terms have a rapid turnover, quickly coming in and out of fashion and then disappearing before parents and teachers have time to decode them. The reality is more complicated: novelty is all-important but for each generation the expressions they encounter will be new to them. So although each age group and almost every local clique do invent their own words, there is a common core of slang that persists for years: such as cool, wicked, solid and sick for good, and chilling for relaxing. A wealth of words for the same thing Variations on a theme
The Period, Our Simplest Punctuation Mark, Has Become a Sign of Anger This is an unlikely heel turn in linguistics. In most written language, the period is a neutral way to mark a pause or complete a thought; but digital communications are turning it into something more aggressive. “Not long ago, my 17-year-old son noted that many of my texts to him seemed excessively assertive or even harsh, because I routinely used a period at the end,” Mark Liberman, a professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, told me by email. How and why did the period get so pissed off? It might be feeling rejected. sorry about last nightnext time we can order little caesars Than I am to send a single punctuated message: I’m sorry about last night. And, because it seems begrudging, I would never type: sorry about last night.next time we can order little caesars. “The unpunctuated, un-ended sentence is incredibly addicting,” said Choire Sicha, editor of the Awl. Other people probably just find line breaks more efficient. It’s a remarkable innovation.
Signal Mirrors for Safety in the Willderness The Signal MirrorCasting a New Light on the Subject Of all the signaling devices that are used in this age of air assisted rescue, possibly the most useful one is the smallest, simplest, and the one that is least used and understood by most of us who venture into the Outdoors...THE SIGNAL MIRROR. Morse Code and Outdoor Signaling (S.O.S.) Everyone talks about it, knows about it, but more often than not, nobody really carries one with them or really understands its practical use or potential life saving benefit. You should have one in your pack or on your person anytime that you venture into the deep woods, mountains or unfamiliar terrain. This is not a shaving mirror or a cheap toy, but a tool for survival that you must appreciate and understand how to use effectively. The first step in using a signal mirror is to properly sight it. If you have a quality mirror with a good sighting device, you can do more than attract attention; you can send text messages. S.O.S.Safety Outdoor Signaling
Words of 2015 round-up Word of the Year season has closed with the selections of the American Dialect Society this past weekend, so it’s time to reflect on the different words of the 2015. The refugee crisis and gender politics have featured prominently in selections around the globe as well as the influence of technology. In the English-speaking world: Collins Dictionary named “binge watch” as their Word of 2015. Oxford Dictionaries selected the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji. Dennis Baron selected the gender-neutral singular “they” as his Word of the Year. Quartz’s (unofficial) nomination for Word of the Year is also the singular “they”. The Australian National Dictionary Centre’s Word of the Year is “sharing economy”. Dictionary.com selected “identity”. Merriam-Webster selected the suffix “-ism”. Cambridge Dictionaries selected “austerity”. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) selected “content marketing”. Global Language Monitor selected “microaggression”. In New Zealand, Public Address selected “quaxing”.