Arts

The conscious mind of Emily Dickinson

There is an occurrence in Emily Dickinson’s verse; it is beyond mere coincidence or unaware habit. Noticed, it helps see her light musing with Greek and Latin.

 

(Time and Eternity, XVIII, Playmates) Latin: collusor, companion at play; condiscipulus, school-mate; angelus, a messenger, an angel; lapillus, small stone, pebble (marble?); lusus, a game;  Greek: ὁμηλυσία, omelusia, companionship.

 

God permits industrious angels
Afternoons to play.
I met one, — forgot my school-mates,
All, for him, straightway.

 

God calls home the angels promptly
At the setting sun;
I missed mine. How dreary marbles,
After playing Crown!

 

The inspiration is morpho-phonemic. Let us try a few more pieces. (Life, XXIII, Unreturning) ἀνάπλυσις, anaplusis, washing or rinsing out; ἀνήλυσις, anelusis, going up, return; ἤλυσις, elusis, step, gait; lenunculus, a small sailing-vessel, bark, skiff (the toddling little boat).

 

‘T was such a little, little boat
That toddled down the bay!
‘T was such a gallant, gallant sea
That beckoned it away!

 

‘T was such a greedy, greedy wave
That licked it from the coast;
Nor ever guessed the stately sails
My little craft was lost!

 

We can compare the Greek -upo/ypo- for I asked no other thing (Life, XII, p. 213): ἰσότυπος, isotypos, shaped alike, συνυπόπτωσις, synypoptosis, simultaneous presentation to the senses; Latin cauponarius, a male shopkeeper, tradesman, ποπτερνίς, upopternis, a knob (a kind of a button that can twirl, in the modern use), and πo, below, looking a picture up and down (as Brazil on a map).

 

I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.

 

Brazil? He twirled a button,
Without a glance my way:
“But, madam, is there nothing else
That we can show to-day?”

 

Feel also welcome to read Why I stay with the first print.

 

British grammar nazis

Disclaimer: the adjacent — and colored meaningfully yellow — graphic piffle is not intended to mean the Union Jack proper. It is the British grammar nazis logo on Facebook.

 

Grammer

 

The logo dubious pulchritude may be seen in its full down here, also with a click.

 

British grammar nazis header

 

Let me lay out on the fundamentals of orthography. I do not spell the nazis with a big letter. Big letters, though they do not always import reverence, are reserved for proper nouns, everywhere except a beginning.

 

The proper noun Nazis were German nationalists. Their having bombed London during WWII might belong with the semantic field too, and further reasonably connote displeasure on the part of the British people. I mean, I do not have other people’s feelings, but thus I do reckon.

 

Much has been written about the second world war, including Hitler’s evident lack of linguistic finesse. Therefore, I will do some wondering only, on the British who want to be grammar nazis.

 

The Daily Mash offers observations.

 

“The way they selflessly dedicate themselves to correct punctuation, for example by pointing out to the staff of a chip shop why the term >>chip’s<< is a sloppy obfuscation, confirms they are bold and righteous individuals.”

 

 

On Facebook, grammar nazis share the article and comment.
“This pleases me. A lot!”
“We are doing a service to the world in helping people be rid of their ignorance!”
“We knew it all the time!”

 

It is only after a few lines or whiles that thought emerges.
“I suspect someone is taking the p*ss.”

 

 

Grammar nazis do not get irony. Let me think about statistics and implications. Should there be visiting nazis on this page, I promise a brief primer on irony after this indispensable piece of advice about living on the same planet.

 

The site has about 50 thousand “likes”. Taking the British population alone, that would make about 50 thousand oddly deficient, among about 63 million people.

 

Some might say it is not so bad. It is not even one percent. Still, it could be better to think literacy, going to England: the guys are permitted to have the UK flag for their capriccio, and odd types favor big towns, as London.

 

However this could not mean there only odd types in big towns, before you go to London, try for a plain passport photo, that is, without brooches, scarves, ties, anything you do not always carry. The piffle shows the guys’ attention to picture specifics. 😉

 

Wave your hand broadly, getting a taxi. It is a simple, therefore legible gesture. Get a map with statues and other tourist attractions in large icons. It is better to take a walk from the National Museum than end up the Piccadilly, owing to small print. 😉

 

In hotels, always tick the boxes. Ask for those straight, should you be provided with a form without boxes to tick. 😉

 

Mailing letters, get the recorded. They have ID strips. Seeking directions, approach people with newspapers. They could be literate. However, never ever leave your books or papers open and unattended. They might be taken for other utilities. 😉

 

Now, the primer on irony. The basics are in the affirmative and the negative. You do not take them for a yes or no merely. Let me quote the Mash:

 

“In no way are any of these people vain, arsey pedants.”

 

This does not have to mean a refutation, as Wikipedia explains. Life cannot be about affirming or denying only. Let me return to the Mash.

 

“The way they selflessly dedicate themselves to correct punctuation, for example by pointing out to the staff of a chip shop why the term >>chip’s<< is a sloppy obfuscation, confirms they are bold and righteous individuals."

 

Antonyms and synonyms are the answer.

 

Laying all out in detail to a grammar nazi looks discouragingly big a task, hence the handful of thoughts and the primary color, yellow (adjective, reference 3).

 

Grammar nazis do not offer own blogs or websites, especially with serious language work, for evaluation. Their picking on people’s works has no chance to bring anything creative, sophisticated. My attitude to them as well as critics will remain the same: Where is your own, better stuff?