the wonderful world of words

Still NaBloPoMo-ing, though I did take a break on the weekends. I get so caught up in writing these that I need to have that breather. If (or rather when – think positive, right?) I succeed at NaBloPoMo this month with weekends off, the next goal will then be full, daily blog posts. Hooray. Speaking of writing…

I’ve seen and heard a few good wordy things of late.

My friend Rich shared this great post of 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around The World. My favorites from this list include…

Mamihlapinatapei: Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) – “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start” – perhaps it’s because I’m an improvisor, I recognize this feeling so well; the best improv, though, is to do away with that reluctance part of the equation

Cafuné: Brazilian Portuguese – “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.” – that’s just sweet

Duende: Spanish – While originally used to describe a mythical, spritelike entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature, its meaning has transitioned into referring to “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.” There’s actually a nightclub in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, where I teach, named after this word. – I love the dark origins of this word, very evocative

On NPR this week, Robert Siegel did a piece (Website Helps Rescue Obscure Words) about savethewords.org, a clever, promo developed by ad company Young and Rubicam for Oxford English Dictionary. You can adopt a word by pledging to use it in everyday conversation. I adopted the word jobler, one who does small jobs. Appropos for an unemployed person, no?

Finally, for the type geeks of you out there here are some of the font blogs I follow. Mostly they go over my head, but I still love gazing at nibs and stems and rhythms of text. Please feel free to suggest others!

I Love Typography

The Grid System
The FontFeed

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