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Language Log

Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2012 - 6:57 a.m.

Tried to play with my art supplies, but have that hangup again-- no text appeals. Who ever heard of a calligrapher with no text? It's ridiculous. Wise aphorisms, which I liked well enough during my younger days, now irritate me (especially with all the internet memes along those lines that clog up my FB feed). Poems are fine, but I have a hangup about doing copyrighted text (and modern poetry is really all I'm interested in, so copyright is always an issue).

That leaves asemic writing. I guess I need to develop a fixed vocabulary of gestures to make that work-- I keep mixing cuneiform with vaguely Georgian or Ge'ez or Aramaic-type forms, and altogether it's too choppy and confused. Choppy and confused is generally not the look I want. For a brief while, when I was first experimenting with asemic writing (am I not _still_ first experimenting? I've hardly done anything with it) I just picked an alphabet and worked in that. Maybe I should go back to that until I can really develop my own scripts. Those first pieces I did were really the best so far. But I can do better.

J's father recently asked me a question about the historical relationship between Arabic and Hebrew scripts. I forgot to answer him. Yesterday I found a diagram of the historical Semitic scripts. There were a lot of them! I feel like I should memorize the graph so as to be able to reproduce it next time I see him. I will not, but I should. The answer, in prose, is that they both ultimately developed from Aramaic (which in turn developed from Phoenician) but Hebrew is a bit older, while Arabic is an offshoot of an offshoot of Aramaic. (Nabatean).

Goddamn cat is meowing outside Q's window again. I wish I could kick her remotely. Just a little kick. Or I wish that if I let her in, she would not then just meow outside Q's door. But she would. Fucking cat. (She's actually settled down a bit in the wake of Ballyhoo's death, but she has always had her moments, and these continue unabated.)

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