Monday, April 30, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #18

old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Friday, April 27, 2018

Legit Technobabble

If the writers on Star Trek never used this term, they darn well should have. The definition is straight out of the nonsense technobabble for which the show was known; all it needs is a reference to a Jeffries tube.

Aharonov-Bohm, n.


  attrib. Designating an effect whereby charged particles travelling round a region containing magnetic flux acquire a phase shift of their wave function proportional to the quantity of linked flux, even if the particles themselves are confined to regions where the magnetic field is negligible. Also: of or relating to this effect.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Many and Varied Uses

Such a range of meaning for so small a word.

ah, int.

An exclamation expressing, according to the intonation, various emotions, as

1. Sorrow, lamentation, regret, passing into the regretful expression of a vain wish. (Actual pain or suffering is now more commonly expressed by O! Oh! North. dial. have a (eː) in both senses.)

2. Surprise, wonder, admiration.

In the two prec. senses often followed by me (north. eh me!). Cf. It. ahime!

3. Entreaty, appeal, remonstrance; passing in former times into simple exclamation to excite attention, where O! would now be used. (North. dial. still have ā man!)

4. Dislike, aversion; passing into contempt, mockery, exultation over or satisfaction at misfortune.

5. Opposition, objection (to what has been said). Often followed by but.

Mod. Ah! but I know something better than that.

6. Realization, discovery, inspiration.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Words and Things

A long time ago (10+ years, I think), I ran a blog for a while that chronicled my reading through the Oxford English Dictionary. It's long gone (and now the URL is taken over by a different website), but I integrated the posts I made there to this blog's history. If anyone cared you can find them (and a few other odds and ends) by doing a label search on "language".

I'm going to restart my read through the OED (which got interrupted the first time when I changed jobs) and post here the interesting, odd, unusual, or otherwise remarkable words. This blog isn't one where I envisioned that the bulk of the posts would be scheduled in advance, and it bothers me a little bit, it looks like this is the only way I can really post significant quantities of material that is interesting to me and that I want to share.

The haikus will continue to post Mondays, but I'm going to see if I can maintain a schedule of Wednesday/Friday postings for words from the OED. Like the haikus, they're not going to be long posts with a great deal of commentary from me, but short snippets of things in passing. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #17

a hangover
is nothing as long as
there are cherry blossoms

futsuka ei
monokawa hana no
aru aida


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #16

ah spring spring
how great is spring!
and so on

ah haru haru
oinaru kana haru
to un nun


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, April 09, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #15

first blossoms
seeing them extends my life
seventy-five more years

hatsu hana ni
inochi shichi ju
go nen hodo


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, April 02, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #14

leave aside
literary talents
tree peony

fugetsu no
zai mo hanareyo


Translated by Jane Reichhold