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The women who created a new language

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Another way to give new life the word is to pull together words in new ways.

Charlotte Bronte was a genius of compelling compounds. We likely owe the origin of 'self-doubt' and 'Wild-West' to her, as well as 'spring-clean.'

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The women who created a new language

The women who created a new language

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20200507-the-women-who-created-a-new-language

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Creating words

In times past, when circumstances demanded new ways of expression, it was often female writers who invented new words.

The word 'frustrating' makes its first appearance in print in George Eliot's novel Middlemarch, when she describes "the hampering threadlike pressure of small social conditions, and their frustrating complexity."

Taking inspiration from George Eliot and Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Dorothy Wordsworth, we can find some helpful principles for sculpting a vocabulary to describe the surreal realities in these tense and trying times.

Get your ‘-ness’ on

The suffix '-ness' can transform a plain word into something stranger and affectingly abstract. For example, 'dark' is factual, whereas 'darkness' is more graphic and poetic.

Other words that already follow this form: the unvisitedness of our parents and grandparents. The unembracedness of our friends. The egglessness of our pantries.

You are what you '-r'

To show the depths of your connection with a place or feeling, simply adding an 'r' or an 'er' to the end of a noun can show a new existential title.
Jane Austen christened a group of random gamblers around a casino table, all coming from the 'outside,' as 'outsiders.' In her novel Emma, she turned the word 'sympathy' into 'sympathizer,' the first recorded use of that word.

Join the Hyphen Nation

Another way to give new life the word is to pull together words in new ways.

Charlotte Bronte was a genius of compelling compounds. We likely owe the origin of 'self-doubt' and 'Wild-West' to her, as well as 'spring-clean.'

The Wisdom of '-isms'

The suffix '-ism' is the quickest way to transport a word into the realms of respectable doctrine, system, or movement.

The novelist George Eliot is credited with formulating the word 'meliorism' - the belief that the world's suffering is healable if we all work together to that end.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Weak Words Used Often

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'Think'

We use "I think: often while at work, but it's a dysfunctional addition to a start of a sentence, that while ok to use occasionally in trivial situations, is to be avoided in meetings or one-on-ones. 

Try replacing it with "I'm confident".

'Need'

When we use "I need" at the start of a sentence it sounds like pleading rather than empowered. It makes us sound needy.

Swap "I need" with "Please" to sound polite and confident.

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Letters Of Complaint

Be polite. The person who gets your letter will seldom be the one who wronged you. And is unlikely to pass it on to the desired recipient if you are insulting and raging.

Make plain...

Letters To Friends

Always remember that your job, writing to a friend, is to entertain. That can mean revelling in the odd pratfall. So, don’t just write about the mundane and pleasant things, try to give them the whole picture and make them feel something.

Letters Of Condolence
  • You are extending respect and friendship. Write quickly, and preferably by hand.
  • You’ll want to calibrate what you write to your relationship both with the recipient and with the deceased. Make it personal.
  • If you knew the deceased well, sharing a couple of warm memories will let the recipient feel there’s a shared bond.
  • If you didn’t know the deceased, you can make respectful reference to what you knew of them.
  • Use tact. Don’t tell the recipient how they should be feeling.
  • If you’re finding it hard to know what to say, you can acknowledge that; but don’t harp on it.
  • Avoid operatic, or competitive, expressions of grief.
  • Acknowledge, but don’t belabour, the grief and pain they feel.
  • Focus on the individual excellence of the deceased rather than the consequences of the loss itself.
  • Be tactful of their religion even if you don’t believe in it. 

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Listen

The more you expose yourself to the new language, the sooner you will become familiar with its sounds and structures. Familiarity, in turn, will speed understanding.

Copy

Repeating the sounds (out loud or in your head) will give you a feel for the language. Memorize not just words, but sentences and even songs to get the rhythm and intonation of the language. 

Read

Read words, sentences, children’s books, newspaper articles. Read as far and near as you can, whether out loud to an audience or quietly to yourself. 

Seeing the language in print helps you understand word structures. It also anchors the new sounds, and helps them get imprinted in your mind.

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Online Dating Saves People Money

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Assuming an average of 18. 5 mon...

Less Likely To Divorce

One controversial study from an online dating platform claims that couples who met online have a 6 percent separation and divorce rate whereas couples who met offline have an 8 percent rate.

More Likely To Break Up

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Forgetting the First Language

While our brains are flexible and adaptable as children, we tend to start having more rigid learning and relearning skills as we grow old.

There have been some extreme cases when the mother t...

Trauma associated with a Language

One of the reasons for forgetting a language is the trauma associated with speaking a particular language: The mind recalls the bad experiences while the language is heard or spoken.

The Switch Mechanism

Once a person is able to speak two or more languages, the mind has to create a mechanism to switch between those seamlessly.

Switching a language is not like forgetting, but if there is too much back and forth, the competition starts between the two languages.

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Mental health during a crisis
Mental health during a crisis

The crisis caused by the new virus has left us with an unprecedented set of unfamiliar emotions.

We have highs and lows on top of the undercurrent of an unbearable dread. The undercurrent i...

Prolonged uncertainty

We are dealing with the feeling of uncertainty, and we don't know when our feeling of uncertainty will end.

We dream about when we can safely leave our homes, see our loved ones, and go back to normal. We wonder if our businesses will reopen or when we will stop feeling so paralyzed with fear.

Ambiguous loss

We have lost so much, and many elements missing from our normal lives are intangible and can hardly be identified. Because it is ambiguous, we find it difficult to know what we are mourning.

It is a loss of the way we have lived, the boundaries between work, home, school. Our plans, weddings, birthday parties, loss of safety and trust in our leadership. The loss of connection, the fear of economic toll.

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Cautionary Hope
Cautionary Hope

Research shows that during disasters, altruism and kindness happen more than greed and selfishness. To tide over the current crisis requires optimism along with caution.

Action and accompli...

People With High Hopes

People with high hope have a good number of difficult, challenging goals, and a good scorecard of achievement.

They have lower rates of anxiety and depression and greater happiness. They cope well with problems that consume the rest of the world.

Hope = Goals + Agency + Pathways

Instead of wishful thinking, we need to know what we want (specific goals), and have the drive and passion to go towards it (agency) and should be able to generate methods and devices to achieve what we want (pathways).

When we do a sum total of these three, we get hope: Hope= Goals + Agency + Pathways

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Words Without Translation

Certain languages and cultures have words that are hard, or even impossible to translate, as a whole lot of stories and mythology have gone into the particular meaning of the word.

Transla...

Untranslatable Words

Some words remain a mystery, as human language cannot be simply demarcated and translated as is, by giving definitions to words.

Certain words add to the mystery and the beauty of languages and provide richer shades to communication.

Words Contain Cultures

Certain words contain the essence of the lifestyles, and the hardships endured in certain cultures. These words are relatable to those who themselves have experienced the same.

Fantasy and economics
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Underlying our fears of robots stealing our jobs are more basic anxieties about money. We're using fantasy to confront fears

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Economic metaphors
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  • The 2012 novel Three Parts Dead, was a mythical reimagining of the 2008 financial crisis. The author, Max Gladstone, said you couldn't tell a story like the financial crisis with realism. You need fantasy to explain it.
The dark side of science fiction

The “dark” kind of science fiction deals with the foundation of economics, which is scarcity. There is a fear that poverty will come faster as automation continues to devalue human labor.

People are experiencing scarcity or are afraid of it on a regular basis. Writers are turning to economists to make their financial worlds more plausible.

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Working well is not about maximizing every waking moment of the day, in order to get more done. And the focus on maximizing time may actually diminish our creativity.

Instead, try identifying and focusing on the few hours of the day you are most productive.

Setting Big Goals

To achieve sustainable productivity habits, it’s best to build up with easily achievable tasks.

Small chunks of accomplishment will amount to something big eventually.

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