Filed under evolution of language

Writing and the Brain

Writing and the Brain

Here’s an article from Thursday’s i paper by Tom Bawden Learning to read profoundly transforms the brain, according to research which sheds new light on disorders such as dyslexia. It is because reading is such a new ability in human evolutionary history that our genes do not provide for a “reading area” i out brains. … Continue reading


Etruscan ‘Rosetta Stone’ found in Italy

The Etruscans are a little known civilisation that preceded Rome, so this discovery provides a rare insight into their language. This is from the i, 5 April: An ancient stone tablet, discovered by archaeologists at a dig outside Florence is being hailed as “Italy’s Rosetta Stone” with excited experts saying the 2,500 year old artefact … Continue reading

Spelling Scissars

There is a broadside in the British Library by T T Barrow from 1829 addressed to the curious, claiming the word scissars has the most variations than any other. He claims there are 480! Try it next time you can’t sleep or on a long journey.

Queuing and Democracy

This is from 24/7 by Jonathan Crary: “The forms of control accompanying the rise of neoliberalism in the 1990s were more invasive in their subjective effects and in their devastating of shared and collectively supported relations. 24/7 presents the delusion of a time without waiting, or an on-demand instantaneity, of having and getting insulated from … Continue reading

Medieval Books

These are amazing- books bigger than people, books bound back to back, even 6 books in a single cover, the ultimate in conserving resources and storage space. I’ve seen some great illuminated manuscripts, but these are something else. Wonderfully Weird & Ingenious Medieval Books

Learning From History

If the war is lost, them it is of no concern to me if the people perish in it. I still would not shed a single tear for them, because they did not deserve any better. These are the words of Adolf Hitler, but whenever I listen to the news I can imagine them coming … Continue reading

Seven Stars

There are a lot of pubs and inns with this name, and there are a lot of theories as to where it comes from – my vote goes for this one, from the Epicure’s Almanack: “the Seven Stars at No. 53 Carey Street, north side, celebrated its 400th birthday in 2002, although the building itself … Continue reading

Lessons from a Landslide

This is an event published on 11 November 1773 in the Bath Chronicle announcing the publication of an account which I cannot make sense of. Is this a minor tsunami? “A dreadful phenomenon described and approved being a particular account of the sudden stoppage of the River Severn and of the terrible desolation that happened … Continue reading