language

Why the Ocean is Blue

Coming from Northern California, where my beloved Pacific Ocean is often a murky green or fathomless purple-gray, I always found the “wine-dark” seas of Homer resonant, fitting; until I remembered that Homer was writing about the sparkling blue gemstone that is the Mediterranean, set within its circlet of land. Wine-dark? Simple scansion cannot account for …

Why the Ocean is Blue Read More »

Parts of Speech: A Reconsideration in Grammar and Philosophy

There come times when a thing you’ve known time out of memory suddenly opens before you, blossoms into beauty where you’d never known to seek it. These are times of transfiguration, and in their witness to both the humble hiddenness of beauty and the deep meaningfulness of reality, they refresh our faith in a world …

Parts of Speech: A Reconsideration in Grammar and Philosophy Read More »

Shakespeare’s Language and the Evolution of Human Intelligence

I was watching a bit of Brannagh’s Hamlet tonight and luxuriating in the language (some of which I understood) when my dear wife asked me for my opinion: “Do you think the groundlings actually understood what was going on in those plays?” I said I thought they did (but that’s probably a subject for another …

Shakespeare’s Language and the Evolution of Human Intelligence Read More »