Friday, February 25, 2011

... all that is stippled, flickered, (who knows how!)

Some musings.

A while ago one of my pseudonyms signed under a comment at Dr. Thursday's, asking what he had to say about GKC's use of the words "type" and "typical", which I don't think I quite understand; and I don't really expect I'll get a suitable answer, but I thought I'd share some other English words which it turns out have a common root --- you will see a family resemblance, I'm sure.
dappled timbrel
thumping tambour
stump type
timpani tamp
stippled stamp
I'm half-wondering whether children of tango/-ere/tetigi/tactus belong on the list; Lewis says it belongs to [TAG-] while indicating tympanum as a Greek loan word.

Anyway, three of these are drums, and one is one way to deal with a drum. Two or three may be controversial (I'm all about the sounds; the history, not so much... but I *think* it works, poetically at least --- oh, can someone tell me if German «glück» "(good) luck" and Greek «γλυκυς» "sweet/sugary" are related at all?)

Approaching this family from the perspective of "type", I was rather intrigued by how active the rest of the set are. A type --- sometimes also called a figure in the Douay-Rheims translation --- can be both a form/pattern and the impression made by such. Whereas a figure, an appearance or face ("la figure" en français, des fois) can sensibly be an interpretation or an artistic rendering or schematic diagram, type by contrast emphasizes an active and tactile connection, contact between the cast and the casting, the press and the impression.

The other interesting news that came out of this particular word-wander was a contention that Guttenberg's most important contribution to the art wasn't so much movable type --- reusable bits of typeface --- as the hand mold, used to quickly cast new pieces of lead typeface (Does "type-cast" mean something else to you?). Someone else can look into "font" and "foundry". I've been typing enough, now, about it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ich verstehe das nicht

Dear Advertiser,

Alas, I read none of pashtun, farsi, arabic, or syriac; never mind whether I could distinguish among them, or how different they'd look to you. You might also guess by my institutional IP address that I don't have much disposable income at the moment, however much folk like me may enjoy spending. Altogether, there's not much point. I shall be asking Mary to pray for you.

an urban scholar

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

... propter magnam gloriam...

Most excellent Theophilus,

I submit for your diligent consideration

\mathrm{XVI} &\mbox{safe travels}\\
\mathrm{XVII} & \mbox{safe returning}\\
\mathrm{XVIII} & \mbox{familiar faces}\\
\mathrm{XIX} & \mbox{cozy blankets}\\
\mathrm{XX} & \mbox{all that tells God's glory}