Tag Archives: linguistics

Web gleanings for the interested.

Over the last several weeks I’ve collected some good Internet finds into this draft which I haven’t yet managed to finesse into a very cohesive offering. Even so, I think I better post it, before it gets even larger.

What does it take for you women to “feel good about yourself”? This blog post, What’s Your Excuse? spins off a provocative photo and discusses our life’s purpose and calling. It’s true we all make excuses for failings, but maybe some of us are focusing on the wrong goals in the first place.

How we live out and demonstrate our priorities has a huge effect on our children. Lisa writes about training our children and about praying for them, in The Prayers of Parents. It reminds icon suffer the little childrenme of a book I read when my own children were small, by Andrew Murray, Raising Your Children for Christ. From the blurb on the paperback cover I expected lots of practical advice such as methods of discipline and teaching, but 90% of the book was a month’s worth of devotionals emphasizing the parents’ faith and prayer. Of course, that is very practical – definitely not theoretical! And so is Lisa’s admonition.

From the cultivation of the spiritual life, I will segue into the cultivation of the earth, and a very surprising thesis of this article on the unsustainability of organic farming. Why would this be? I am only beginning to process the complexities of what the writer is saying. I know that the natural and best ways of doing many things are often not the most “efficient,” and that is one reason I am not a big believer in efficiency. But unsustainable? That’s taking it to a new level of disturbing.


People trying to promote natural healing of the earth is one aspect of this article on Mossy’s blog  telling about seed bombs. Has any of my readers done this “guerrilla gardening”? Mossy tells you how to make your own at home, but if you search the term you quickly find that you can buy the clay balls ready-made.

I appreciated another blogger‘s treating the subject in more depth and bringing up some issues, such as vendors selling “bombs” that contain seeds of plants that are invasive and undesirable for the part of the country they are marketed to. For example, some people are concerned about sweet alyssum, which I have certainly tulips w alyssumfound to be invasive, but controllable in my own home garden.

I’m happy to tell you that hundreds of hardworking bees are flying around my garden these days. They make me so happy. My husband and I like to sit in the sun in the afternoons watching them buzz all over the lavender nearby. I hope you will go see Kelly’s picture of a honeybee — she caught him in a secret magnolia-blossom cave. I love looking at photos of bees on flowers — they are so hard to get. If any of you have one on your own blog I’d think it the sweetest thing if you sent me the link.

If you haven’t already acquired the habit of reading Fr. Stephen Freeman’s blog, here’s another prod: We Will Not Make the World a Better Place. He discusses “The Modern Project,” modern because, “You will search in vain for the notion of making a better world prior to the 16th century.” Fabian Socialists, the Treaty of Versailles, and the Armenian genocide all figure in his remarks on political theory and history. And a quote: “Stanley Hauerwas has famously noted that whenever Christians agree to take charge of the outcome of history, they have agreed to do violence.”

Last, and important, humor: One of the funniest things I came across this week was on Language Log, a place to read linguists’ comments on many everyday happenings in languages, English and others. From time to time one of their many contributors writes about how Chinese signs get translated inchinese - JustTheQueen1 odd and amusing ways. Some are written to forbid urination in various places and the English versions of the warnings can come out saying, “Urination is inhuman,” or “It is forbidden to urinate here. The penalty is bang.”

My pal Chesterton said that there are no uninteresting subjects, only uninterested people. I hope at least one topic here has been interesting to you!

Putting Books on Shelves, Taking Them Off…

Earlier in the month I told how I got worked up when parts of my book order began to arrive in the mail. I admit, I do feel a bit sheepish, buying more books and telling about them, when there are plenty of good ones already on my shelves. But that’s me, a glutton.


These are mostly used, almost all from different sellers, and the shipping totalled way more than the books themselves. Most of the titles have been on my wish list for months or years, and I know that some of the books, now that they are in my possession, will sit on the shelf for at least months, more likely years, before I get to them. But they have a better chance of being read now.

Not to mention, they are now available for me to remove from the bookcase briefly, to open and lovingly turn a few pages–even when there isn’t time to give my full attention to the contents. Winston Churchill gave an admonition to book-lovers to do just that. I read the saying in a London museum, and it appears I’ll have to return there if I am ever going to find it verbatim.

In some cases it is a mystery how I heard about the book or why I wanted it. The Golden Book of Writing looks valuable, and I can always use help in that department, but it will have to remain uncredited as far as who recommended it. Maybe it was my friend at Amazon.com who always says, “We have recommendations for you!”

John McWhorter has been interviewed a couple of times on Mars Hill Audio, so I’ve been familiar with him and wanting to read more from his mind. Linguistics is a subject that grabs me ever since I was privileged to take a tutorial in the subject as a freshman in college. Perusing the titles of McWhorter’s bibliography feeds my book greed.

Dana Gioia is another author whose acquaintance I first made through MHA, and I mentioned that meeting here already. I only owned one book of his poems before–now I have two, and two collections of essays. Disappearing Ink is a collection of essays subtitled Poetry at the End of Print Culture.

Kristin Lavransdatter I loved so much that I snatched up sets whenever I’d see them, in the old translation that so many people despise–I didn’t. But now I want to read it in Tiina Nunnally’s rendition.

Because I dearly love my friend, whom I will call Bird, I bought The Lady’s Not for Burning, a play by Christopher Fry. Bird is 98 years old, and this play is one of her favorite pieces of writing, I think partly because it was something she enjoyed with her late husband. Bird is terribly hard of hearing, but she can hear me when I sit nearby and we talk about how thankful we are to God for many things. She is a little worried that her eyes will fail her and she won’t be able see the print on the pages of her books; I told her I will come and read to her then.

I think she would really like Kristin Lavransdatter.