Words and Pictures - September

After work provided the most hectic half-year of my career, I’m finally reclaiming my headspace and posting some old links that I’d compiled previously but hadn’t shared. They’re too good to discard. September seemed to have an inadvertent linguistic and cultural focus.


  • The Weirdest Languages (http://idibon.com/the-weirdest-languages/) - Tyler Schnoebelen. Mining the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) for common linguistic structures and behaviours. Kudos to the database maintainers, and to the author for some great storytelling.
  • In Chișinău - James Meek (London Review of Books). Perceptive analysis of a few cultural traits brought about by a lost passport in Romania.
  • What Is the Icelandic Word for “Four” - Daniel Tammet (Slate) - Language never ceases to amaze, and frustrate!
  • How to Write About the Balkans - Lily Lynch (The Balkanist). You’ll recognise the format - very funny.
  • The Lady, or the Tire Iron? - Susan Schorn (McSweeny’s). MythBusting the locked-in-the-boot (trunk) kidnapping scenario. Hilarious.
  • A Cartoonist’s Advice - Bill Watterson (Zen Pencils). A beautifully illustrated, refreshing and liberating look at the flaws in modern corporate culture. Your work is not your life, or your meaning.