Thursday, September 25, 2008

Personal Languages

When I was in fourth grade I decided I needed my own language.

This was before I had heard of Tolkien, and far before Paolini even had the idea to release his dragonish mess upon the world.

And so I invented a code, and learned it, and because it is a code, not a language, I can fluently translate, read, and speak it today. I was a smart fourth-grader, and so I realized that I would have to rearrange vowels with vowels and consonants with consonants so that words didn't end up translating to: gbvtw.

I also realized that certain letters usually found in pairs (c,h,s,w,t) would have to stay the same to preserve their pair-sounds (so that ch, sh, wh, th, etc., didn't encounter the garbled situation described above).

My boyfriend insists this is a pointless activity because this code language has no real use in the world, but I love it because not only is it a great way to fake knowing a foreign language, but if I'm ever in a public place writing, I can switch over to code and no one will know what I'm really saying. It makes it a lot easier to be unselfconscious.

I told you this story because it ties in with today's awesome word:


An idiolect is a variety of a language unique to an individual. It is manifested by patterns of word selection and grammar, or words, phrases, idioms, or pronunciations that are unique to that individual. Every individual has an idiolect; the grouping of words and phrases is unique, rather than an individual using specific words that nobody else uses. An idiolect can easily evolve into an ecolect—a dialect variant specific to a household.

What's in your idiolect?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Stuff From Everywhere

Below is a list of things to inspire/entertain you:

1) Check out this video of how to print a book... in 1947.

Mercilessly borrowed from

2) Have I told you how in love with Strange Horizons I am?

Read their Fiction archives here.

It's all so dreadfully good I've ignored the rest of the site.

3) A Softer World co-creator Joey has just made his book 'Lockpick Pornography' available for free online.

WARNING: It's got a LOT of homosexual relationships, transsexuality, illegal activities including robbery and guerrilla political tactics, but this either a) doesn't bother you or b) you can get past it, this is a very creative, fun, hilarious read.

4) A list of the best opening sentences from Science Fiction books

5) Tress can communicate with each other! As a writer, you should be thrilled.

6) Cats have wings

7) Dictionary of Etymology

8) Lingual oddities: A map of the United States showing who says 'pop' and who says 'soda'

Friday, September 05, 2008

All the Books in the World

Using I found this interesting foreign comic (it's been translated) about a bookstore that carries every book in the world... except one.

View it on someone's livejournal here.

It asks if you're 14 years or older, but the content is entirely safe for work and all ages.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Everything Wrong with Eragon

It's no secret that I don't like Christopher Paolini.

Therefore, I was thrilled when I came across this list: Everything Wrong With Eragon

This is the list I've been wanting to make for years. Utter love to its maker LordSnow. ThingInTheCoat, you and I may just have to have a polyamorous relationship. ;-)


Also in cool news, this keyboard is a modern writer's new best friend.

I know there's this stereotype that writers have cats (and why wouldn't you want to?), but really, isn't the keyboard your most faithful companion?

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Worst Book Ever Written

It is my distinct UNpleasure to introduce you to the a candidate for the worst published book in the world: The Shadow God, by Aaron Rayburn.

<--Worst Book Ever Written

I'd make fun of it, but this reviewer has done a better job than I ever could.

Read his article here. Be prepared to laugh, to gasp, and to stare in shock that someone actually thought this book was fit to print.

Laughter aside, consider this a learning opportunity of what NOT to do.