Tag Archive | language

Song of an ageing linguist

The ideas of my youth sleep fitfully.

I sense them – slightly behind my right shoulder.

Rarely do they trouble me now,

For they have become washed out.

Ignored for years, they have lost their vibrancy.

Once green and fresh, full of life and promise,

They are now barely perceived, colourless reminders

Of the furious battle they once waged with my indolent soul.

But as I approach my old age, I feel them stir.

Increasingly restless, they will soon erupt again into life,

For once again I sense that my

Colourless green ideas sleep furiously.

So what do you think, Sheba?

In the Clubhouse, I have often said that my dog, Sheba, has taught me more about language than anyone or anything else. This was not a lie. A gross exaggeration, perhaps, but not a lie.

In trying to communicate with her successfully, at least to the extent that she does not represent a danger to herself or others, I have been forced to look at how language and communication work from an entirely new perspective. And it has been fascinating.

Continue reading

Finger food for thought

A couple of years back, I posted some thoughts about learning Braille on the Wordwizard Clubhouse. I have resurrected them here and updated the post a little.

Please note that some browsers may not display the Braille symbols properly.


Well, I have managed it! An exciting, bewildering, bizarre, although as yet incomplete journey.

After just under 7 weeks, I have just completed the final book of my Braille course! I can now read again, albeit extremely laboriously. But what an odd experience it has been.

In this post, I shall just touch on some of the peculiarities that I have encountered, particularly from the perspective of a linguist. In another post on the main board, I shall be going into a little more detail about some of the pitfalls and problems I have had for the benefit of anyone who may be thinking of learning Braille themselves. This one is strictly for the language geeks.

Continue reading