What cats really say

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Different languages  have different words for the sounds that animals make. You may think that bees buzz but in Bengali they bhonbhon, in Japanese they bunbun, in Estonian, summ-summ and Korean they have a choice between boong-boong and wing-wing. Cats say ngeong in Indonesia and in Nahuatl (Mexico) they say tlatzomia. The Scottish poet, Alistair … Continue reading What cats really say

Words you didn’t know existed

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The English language is full of words from all over the world, brought to us by traders, refugees, conquerors; collected by travellers, emigres and empire builders. It is one of the reasons  for the richness of the language, and for the difficulty of its spelling. The words we have reflect who we are and the … Continue reading Words you didn’t know existed

My Place

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‘People exploitwhat they have merely concluded to be of value, but the defendwhat they love and to defend what we love we need a particularizing language, for we love what we particularly know.’ Wendell Berry Robert Macfarlane quotes Berry in his book Landmarks, drawing attention to the moral dimension of looking closely and naming carefully.  We could begin … Continue reading My Place