My life is more than my work

evolution of the alphabet

A series of frames on the evolution of the alphabet.

WORD PLAY: While I speak Spanish and French and studied Latin, and while I like to read about human language origins as well as about philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, I mostly mean that I enjoy words and wordplay. For example, every weekday I receive an A-Word-A-Day email from ... click here for the latest word. The author, Anu Garg, is a great sommelier of words. The 5 words each weekday generally have some unifying theme; sometimes you're told, other times you have Monday through Thursday to figure out the theme before Friday's revelation. 

CUNNING LINGUISTSIt's been said that I never metaphor I didn't like ... OK, said by me, but still. My language interest is not in-depth enough to follow Noam Chomsky's work here, though he appears again in my Politics section. One of my favorite books ever explores philosophy of mind, in DNA and in digits ... Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. It's chock full of illustrative word play. And then there's what some call the lowest form of humor, the pun. Sorry; love 'em.  

WHINGING: I do admit to sometimes gritting my teeth over the common misuse of the contraction it's (which means either it is, as in "it's fun", or sometimes it has, as in "it's been fun") versus its (the possessive, meaning belonging to it ... as in "its proper usage is lost"). Since non-pronoun possessives (day's end, Fred's toes, Tuesday's child) use the apostrophe, its is falling into disuse. After it's is accepted as the possessive, do we risk seeing hi's and her's possessives next? But I'm reconciled to losing its. Most days I am. Mostly. It's how language grows. Well, changes, anyway.