‘He Do the Police in Different Voices’: On Speech and Language Policing

I first read this a couple of weeks ago, and I have kept thinking about it. The thoughts on ‘strong declarative sentences’, are particularly making me think. Firstly, that I too don’t like them, and secondly, how often do I use them, nonetheless.

Jeanne de Montbaston

“And I’ll tell you another thing about the way women don’t Talk Proper …”
Filippo Lippi, Man and Woman at a Casement. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to speak, as T. S. Eliot puts it, ‘in different voices’. We use language as an index of belonging. At the moment, there’s an idiolect, which I’d like to imagine would immediately tell me whether or not I’m in the presence of the sisterhood. ‘Silencing’ is the new favourite Participle Of Oppression for all parties. Fourth wavers talk about language as a form of literal violence. Radfems say unsisterly things about fourth wavers and bite our tongues. We all thank the goddess for Rebecca Solnit coining the term ‘mansplaining’, and Deborah Cameron writes brilliant critiques of all the idiotic pseudo-scientific arguments that all misogyny would disappear if only women would learn to Talk…

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Interact with the first 3-D scan of the Rosetta Stone

via Interact with the first 3-D scan of the Rosetta Stone

This lovely 3D image from the British Museum is on the fabulous online platform Sketchfab. The detail is sufficient to see the individual characters inscribed n the stone.

There are also lots of other images from the museum and elsewhere. They have the Lewis chess pieces, and various classical statues, all in huge detail. You can pan, rotate and zoom in: cue hours of happy exploration.

The standard 2D image above of the Rosetta Stone is by © Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Steam engine for pumping water made to the Savery system.

Thomas Savery, and a new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion by the impellent force of fire

Thomas Newcomen and James Watt are the names I think of regarding early steam engine development. Yet, it was a Thomas Savery, who on July 2nd, 1698 first patented the idea of an early steam ‘engine’, or perhaps more precisely its direct predecessor since it had no moving parts. It was as Savery explained:

A new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for draining mines, serving towns with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefit of water nor constant winds.

Significantly, the patent was to last twenty-one years and this forced Newcomen to come to an arrangement with Savery when developing his own, more successful engines.

 


Image source:By PHGCOM [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons
Quoted text courtesy of Wikipedia

The Chilwell catastrophe: Fatal explosion on the home front

It is the pictures of the vast warehouses of shells, six hundred thousand of them, that is most shocking: that they could all be fired in just two or three days.

Heritage Calling

On 1 July 1918, at 7.10pm, a catastrophic explosion tore through the National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.

The blast killed 134 workers and injured 250 – the biggest loss of life from a single accidental explosion during the First World War.

Rubbe and remains of a destroyed factory building after the blast A large part of the factory site was reduced to rubble after the explosion. © Historic England/AA96-03585.

Eight tons of TNT had detonated without warning, flattening large parts of the plant and damaging properties within a three mile area. The colossal blast was heard 30 miles away.

Eye witness, Lottie Martin, a worker at the factory, later recalled: ‘…Men, women and young people burnt, practically all their clothing burnt, torn and disheveled. Their faces black and charred, some bleeding with limbs torn off, eyes and hair literally gone…’

A destroyed factory building pictured after the blast Many factory buildings were twisted and distorted by the force of the blast. © IWM HU96428.

Rapid action by…

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Tower Bridge at night.

Tower Bridge: Happy Birthday!

Combined Bascule and Suspension Bridge

Lovely image of London's famous Tower Bridge, taken from St Katherine's dock looking south.
Lovely image of London’s famous Tower Bridge, taken from St Katherine’s dock looking south. By Bob Collowân [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Tower Bridge was officially opened on this day in 1894. I have long been enchanted by it: as a fascinating piece of engineering it is the only combined bascule and suspension bridge I’ve seen; and as a monumental piece of Victorian Gothic architecture.

I first saw it as a child, though it was to be many years before I learned that Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between England, Britain and the U.K.?

As explained by the Smithsonian Institute. Which of all the US, (American, or is it USA?) organisations is right up there with NASA as an all time favourite of mine. Many years back I spent a blissfully happy time exploring its Air and Space Museum. I had seen images or copies of grand breaking aircraft, etc. They had the originals. Awesome. But anyway, the video is… illuminating, and rather funny. How we are seen, by some at least, from the other side of the pond.

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