argot-go boots!

mes amis–
a fine feathered course concluded recently on the topic of dictionaries. the most exciting element of the course for me wasn’t the study of the way  words are organized (dreary!) but the words themselves. they are always the stars of the show. and the linguistic leanings of some scholars wasn’t so bad either.
i’m looking at you, saussure!

who’s he looking at?

imagine what delight i experienced earlier au jour d’hui when i saw merriam webster‘s word-of-the-day in my inbox. (plus, not to mention my new found admiration mixed with suspicion over said dictionary…. now that i know the “descriptivist” scandal m-w provoked in the 60s. and thank goodness! language always needs some rustling up and it’s fun to get the knickers of some prescriptivists in a bunch. i hope the previous sentence is not only ungrammatical but maddening too!).
anyway, the word i found was argot.


and what a dear parole it is! i quote from m-w:
“We borrowed “argot” from French in the mid-1800s, although our language already had several words covering its meaning. There was “jargon,” which harks back to Anglo-French by way of Middle English (where it meant “twittering of birds”); it had been used for specialized (and often obscure or pretentious) vocabulary since the 1600s. There was also “lingo,” which had been around for almost a hundred years, and which is connected to the Latin word “lingua” (“language”). English novelist and lawyer Henry Fielding used it of “court gibberish” — what we tend to call “legalese.” In fact, the suffixal ending “-ese” is a newer means of indicating arcane vocabulary. One of its very first applications at the turn of the 20th century was for “American ‘golfese.'”
off the hozzle indeed! (a term i just learned last night and still do not fully understand. apparently it has something to do with golf) it is also the title of what i am sure is a fine artwork by the ever talented and elusive lumberbob.
allora, there are many other tids and bits i am working on and considering. among them is turning my website into a forum for debate and discussion about art via a creative capital grant. j/k! don’t worry, if such a thing were ever to happen it would only be in the highest of arch spirits. nothing could get too walter benjamin around these interweb corners. (sorry walter, but that first paragraph of yours in illusions was a real bore snore!)

…it’s contagious!

ok, maybe i’ll give illusions another look. i do have an aversion to reading and thinking sometimes…!
next week i will be tooting off to the wilds of omaha, nebraska for a favourite (note british spelling) annual event: the great plains theatre conference. talk about fine feathers! the “gtpc,” as its called in anacronymistic circles, is a true meeting of some of the nicest nerds i’ve ever known. in short, this kippy will be in heaven! not to mention the fine eats. yum a dum! ooh how i look forward to a strong sunshine on the prairie, the smell of freshly cut grass, a gentle breeze at my back, long nights on the porches, and the kindly faces of old pals and new chums. it is like a summer camp but of the least cliquey kind. ooh goodness i do not mean to jinx it…!

“great stories, fascinating people”

speaking of goodness, jinxes, great theatre and yummy nourishment: i am reminded of how i never reported on the fusebox festival. it was amazing. that is all there is to say. the theatre was excellent, the people outstanding, and those food trucks: criminally scrumptious! plus, i felt fit as a fiddle due to a zealous regimen of zipping everywhere in bicicletta. mama mia…! didn’t even need a helmut lang b/c there is enough space on the road to share with motorists and none of the drivers are in a rush.
you’ll smell the roses on this contraption, that’s for sure
i may have to return to that thumb-in-the-nose city… all the freedoms of the west coast without the dopey dippy that drives me crazy. rather there are the passions of the east with an unbridled refusal of pretension (very uneast, i must say). a most curious mixture, one i am keen on further exploring!
a presto,
ps i understand a very special presentation of toilet time with flush in omaha. i can hardly wait!

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