un poema

I have been reading a lot of poetry lately, mostly focusing on Spanish language poets, because I am learning Spanish. I find poetry is easier to read than prose, maybe because I can focus on one line at a time, and the words are less crowded. However, I've been surprised to find that so many …

Mi primer libro en español

I have been (very) slowly teaching myself Spanish over the past few years, mostly by using Duolingo for just 20 minutes or so each day. But recently I felt comfortable enough to seek out more content to read. Because how better to learn a language than by just jumping right in? This week I reached …

700 year old emoji

I'm reading Purgatory by Dante, and came across this passage: The sockets of their eyes were gemless rings; one who reads omo in the face of men, could easily have recognized the m. My eyes widened a bit and I thought, that can't possibly mean what I think it means. But I checked the historical …

Context is very powerful

I've been teaching myself Spanish for the past six weeks or so, and am at the point where I can read very simple fiction such as the stories in this book, which are designed specifically for beginners, and use only simple, common words and phrases. Although I don't know all the words, and am still …

I cog it

I am nearing the end of Cloud Atlas, and the current viewpoint character has a very foreign (to me) dialect. The character is Hawaiian, but in a far future 'we forgot technology' situation. Perhaps some of this way of speaking is familiar to Hawaiians, but it's not to me. And this is not just dialogue, …

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