A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

About four thousand years ago, somewhere in the Middle East — we don’t know where or when, exactly — a scribe drew a picture of an ox head. The picture was rather simple: just a face with two horns on top. It was used as part of an abjad, a set of characters that represent the consonants in a language. Over thousands of years, that ox-head icon gradually changed as it found its way into many different abjads and alphabets. It became more angular, then rotated to its side. Finally it turned upside down entirely, so that it was resting on its horns. Today it no longer represents an ox head or even a consonant. We know it as the capital letter A. The moral of this story is that symbols evolve.

The origin of laughter, smiles and tears – Michael Graziano – Aeon
Yolo and binge-watch added to online dictionary - Yolo, an acronym for ‘you only live once’, is among the latest new words added to the Oxford online dictionary. The phrase, along with ‘adorbs’ - meaning cute or adorable, and ‘binge-watch’ - which means to avidly watch something - has been added to oxforddictionaries.com. The website is a catalogue of current definitions of English words as they are used today. Other new inclusions include “tech-savvy” and “clickbait”. The words have been revealed as part of the latest quarterly update of the online dictionary, and give an insight for linguists into current language usage trends. The words will not, for now, appear in the paper-version of the Oxford English Dictionary, which is a more historical account of words, but they could do in the foreseeable future if they continue to be frequently used for years to come. According to the online dictionary’s language monitoring programme, use of the word ‘binge-watch’ increased fourfold in February and tripled in June, based on its average use over the last two years. There were notable spikes in its usage recorded around the latest releases of political drama House Of Cards in February and the US comedy Orange Is The New Black in June 2014. Other informal terms entered into the online dictionary: bank of mum and dad - a person’s parents regarded as a source of financial assistance or support bro hug - another term for ‘man hug’ and is used to describe two males embracing cray - crazy hench - often used to describe a man who is strong, fit, and having well-developed muscles hot mess - a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered: mansplain - (Of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising side-eye - a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt spit-take - an act of suddenly spitting out liquid one is drinking in response to something funny or surprising (via BBC News - Yolo and binge-watch added to online dictionary)

Yolo and binge-watch added to online dictionary
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Yolo, an acronym for ‘you only live once’, is among the latest new words added to the Oxford online dictionary. The phrase, along with ‘adorbs’ - meaning cute or adorable, and ‘binge-watch’ - which means to avidly watch something - has been added to oxforddictionaries.com. The website is a catalogue of current definitions of English words as they are used today. Other new inclusions include “tech-savvy” and “clickbait”. The words have been revealed as part of the latest quarterly update of the online dictionary, and give an insight for linguists into current language usage trends. The words will not, for now, appear in the paper-version of the Oxford English Dictionary, which is a more historical account of words, but they could do in the foreseeable future if they continue to be frequently used for years to come. According to the online dictionary’s language monitoring programme, use of the word ‘binge-watch’ increased fourfold in February and tripled in June, based on its average use over the last two years. There were notable spikes in its usage recorded around the latest releases of political drama House Of Cards in February and the US comedy Orange Is The New Black in June 2014.
Other informal terms entered into the online dictionary: bank of mum and dad - a person’s parents regarded as a source of financial assistance or support bro hug - another term for ‘man hug’ and is used to describe two males embracing cray - crazy hench - often used to describe a man who is strong, fit, and having well-developed muscles hot mess - a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered: mansplain - (Of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising side-eye - a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt spit-take - an act of suddenly spitting out liquid one is drinking in response to something funny or surprising (via BBC News - Yolo and binge-watch added to online dictionary)

Using the wonderful words of acclaimed writer, actor and allround know it all (I mean that in the best of ways) Stephen Fry I have created this kinetic typography animation. If you like what you hear you can download the rest of the audio file from Mr. Fry’s website. stephenfry.com and then go to the audio and video section at the top of the page and look for the file entitled language. You can also find the file on iTunes by searching the name ‘Stephen Fry’s Podgrams’.

I loved this particular essay on language and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make my first kinetic typography video. I hope you like it and even if you dont I would like to heard what you think in the comments section.
Absolutely brilliant!: Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language
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Also I know that at points the audio does not match the text so you do not have to write that. It is because I copied the transcript off of Stephen’s website and it was not 100% exactly what he said and i did not notice until I was well underway. However these cases are few and far between.

Just incase you were wondering the programs I used to make this were all by Adobe. Mostly After Effects but also Flash and Illustrator. Flash for the changing background colour transitions and illustrator for putting the words in to the shape of ‘language’ before loading it into After Effects to animate.

Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated
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Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate. They say wild chimps communicate 19 specific messages to one another with a “lexicon” of 66 gestures. The scientists discovered this by following and filming communities of chimps in Uganda, and examining more than 5,000 incidents of these meaningful exchanges. The research is published in the journal Current Biology. (via BBC News - Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated)

Believing that the language we speak profoundly affects how we view the world, he writes, “forces us into endless contradictions, unwitting disparagement of billions of the world’s human beings, and even cartoonish perspectives about ourselves.”

John H. McWhorter’s The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language is reviewed in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (via oupacademic)
Language, Metaphor, and Reality

Michael Erard, Maurice Glasman, Hilary Lawson. Joanna Kavenna hosts.

The relationship of language to the world has been central to philosophy for at least a century. But what is the role of metaphor? Is it simply an adornment to everyday description or might it be central to explaining how we conceive of and create reality?

The Panel

Political theorist and labour peer Maurice Glasman, language expert and metaphor designer Michael Erard, and post-postmodern Closure theorist Hilary Lawson debate the power of metaphors.