Category Archives: Thoughts

Logophile

Yes, I am a Logophile.

“A lover of Words”…

Why not? – They area all around us, every day…

Spoken, written, implied…

So many of them…

Some are able spell these various words, without thinking twice, but for some of us, the older generation, remember being forced to look words up in a physical dictionary.

Being dyslexic, some form of dictionary lay by my side when ever I was writing something.

Yes, I would find the word in question, without issue,   because of the alphabetization of all those words, but every now a then, my eye would wander, and I would be caught up in just browsing…

Flipping the page, eyes running down the columns searching for something to stand out…

Never know what it was, until it was “found”…

A new knowledge nugget implanted into the neurons…

Only to start again!

Anyhow, during my morning newsfeed/wall reading, I came across “Letter of Recommendation: The Oxford English Dictionary” by Maria Bustillos of the New York Times Magazine, in which she expresses her ‘hidden’ desire to find the words within words, or Etymology.

Another cord was struck.

Having a degree in Physics, generally forces one to learn many ‘roots’ for various words, or studies.

No problem there, especially with my dictionary by my side.

My dictionaries also provided security.

During my early days on the internet, I used the words on the spines of my dictionaries, as Passwords…

I never had to write them down, but they were always available.

My favorite, zymurgy.

Over the past couple of years, I have really begun to start listening to more books, then actually ‘reading’, and for me, it has opened a whole new world! (60+ books in 3 years)

But I still, every now and then, have to return to my trusty Dictionary!

One of my favorites, especially as it pertains to this post, “The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary” by Simon Winchester.

In this book, the author introduces us to the complexity of creating the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), and one is left with nothing by amazement that such at task could have been done!

So as you go about your day, and use your words…

Remember to choose your words carefully…

They have been around since then early days of humanity, and may carry ideas that you are not aware of…

So have some fun and just look it up!

- Andrew
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Marco Polo by Laurence Bergreen

I just finished the audio version of Marco Polo” by Laurence Bergreen, inspired by the recent release of the NetFlix series, which I LIKED, and I wanted to do some follow-up learning.

Think for a second… What do you know of Marco Polo?

I’m not going to answer that, because I have read the book, but I guarantee you that you will know more after you have finished!

The Listen itself is rather dry; the Narrator, Paul Boehmer, has a good voice for the job, but I wish another ‘voice’ would separate the Author’s comments/thoughts from the References.

I will be going back and re-listening to this;  there is a ton of Info and Detail.

One has to remember that we are dealing with late 13th century accounts of travels that were well beyond ‘normal,’ ‘civilized’ thought at that time.

Do a simple time travel in your mind…

Fire is your only real source of Life…
No real books to speak of…
How many people knew how to write?
How many people could afford to write?

Marco’s best work was done in prison?

Sorry… “Spoilers”

If you like to Read/Listen to this type of Historic literature, and this time frame (1200s – 1300s), may I also suggest Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford, which gives a much broader look at the Khan’s family reign over the Mongol empire. (I’ve listened to this one twice already!)

The Kahn’s tolerance of all religions, something that is very much missed in this day and age, continues to amaze me. We could do better with a revisit of the ‘old days’…

That being said, Marco Polo” by Laurence Bergreen, is well worth the Listen/Read.

As Bergreen points out, no original surviving manuscripts exist of Marco’s journeys, and the various stories have been told and retold so many times that we will never know the true extent of what was witnessed.

Anyhow, I’m off to LibriVox to download “The Book of Sir Marco Polo, the Venetian, concerning the kingdoms and marvels of the East, volume 1,” translated by Henry Yule… Just under 10 hours…

- Andrew
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Politicians 101.01

Politicians are the only “professionals” where the Employer (We the People) pay/donate to the Employee to get a Job… and in many cases, once elected, the Employee (Politician) then makes MORE than the Employer in terms of salary, benefits and vacation…

Congressional Salaries and Allowances (January 7, 2014)

Just a thought…

- Andrew
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