LOTRO: Word!

28 Oct

Meme, a word:

‘A meme is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme.’

Planet Pasduil is responsible for instigating this particular internet meme: BOOKS THAT HAVE STAYED WITH ME  into my gaming blogging circle.

He has a new blog – less game fixated more can we say it, thoughtful…

His first post is an excellent look at books, yeah you know those things you read, paper and…Oh and digitized and readable on all known electrical devices: In the future when you make a disaster in the kitchen after whipping cream you can always blame a particularly exciting moment in the book you were reading that was projected to a suitable reading distance in front of your face by the toaster!

When will they design a plug in peripheral device that stimulates a real book.

(aside have you seen the IKEA bookbook ad yet?)

So not just a look at your favourite books but what books have stuck? Books that have been with you a long time. Books that exert an influence…books that pop up in day-to-day activities or books that are thought about regularly.

Basically something that was written and read that transformed itself from ink and word into ideas that mixed happily with your self, your soul, your identity, your ‘Id’ and could even be said to have shaped you.

And this is where it gets interesting as I replied to his post with the list of my favorite books off the top of my head, although I actively think about these books when asked and have enjoyed re-reading many are they really those which helped me be me?

By analyzing these books I feel as if I am dissecting my own being, pulling pieces of media from myself, extracting thoughts and ideas found not to be my own, my ideas their words. Their ideas and words implanted like a splinter in my brain, one that only sinks deeper with time.

The process of investigating this has left me as if I am slowly cutting myself into pieces and just hope I will be able to put myself back together again afterwards!

I try to focus on books and keep getting sidetracked to comics, movies and even TV shows… I suppose media of all shapes and sizes whether it be books, film or theatre, games, TV or art actually has a deep and profound effect upon us.

I have changed the classification from books to media with printed words that have impacted on me…

My original list of favs:

Invisible cities – Calvino
Cosmicomics – Calvino
Don Quixote – Cervantes
The Trial – Kafka
The Castle – Kafka (Still unfinished after 10 years…I just keep going back to it though!)
A Wild Sheep Chase – Murakami
Neuromancer – Gibson
Stainless Steel Rat – Harry Harrison
Red and Black – Stendahl
If this is a Man – Primo Levi
The Periodic Table – Primo Levi
Man in a high Castle – Philip K Dick
Red Cavalry – Isaak Babel
The Green house – Mario Vargos Llosa
Death in the Afternoon – Ernest Hemingway (if you are not put off by Bullfighting…)
Laughter and Forgetting – Kundera
Any short stories by JG Ballard.
Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams both of which’s complete works I will take to the grave.
Master and Margarita – Bulgakov
The man who was Thursday – Chesterton
 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes – I read them all in my early teens but ultimately they were surpassed by Chesterton’s  Father Brown .

Tarzan not at all childish, and I also read his adventure books starring Professor Challanger

LOTR and FANTASY

Lord of The Rings, I read The Hobbit first but then I went out and got the full trilogy and in the space of a week I had read them all…I was about 13, and was the first time I was simply unable to put a book down, from this day on I was a night owl when reading…(later watching movies and later gaming.)

Late teens family friends found to have a bookcase of all the Eddings books and diverse fantasy mainstays…the world building nature and huge plot lines and casts of hundreds sucked me in.. I spent a summer reading all the books…in the end I think I consumed too much and still to this day this kind of high fantasy writing is just too sweet for me.

Ursula la Guin – Earthsea Books: had a huge impression on me in my youth…

Later books just got better Left hand of god 

As I loved the Earthsea books so much my Aunt insisted that I read her more adult Sci-fi stuff, I was amazed! …’Always Coming Home’ left a huge impression as well! My back log of books to read when I get back to Europe just got a new priority addition!

While doing my research I realized that I am a borderline ‘Taoist Anarchist’! I needed an excuse to visit a monastery, do they have wifi and does LOTRO count as meditation? [My anarchistic nature is evident as always…]

“rescues anarchism from the cultural ghetto to which it has been consigned [and] introduces the anarchist vision…into the mainstream of intellectual discourse.”

Call, Lewis. “Postmodern Anarchism in the Novels of Ursula K. Le Guin”. The Anarchist Library. Retrieved November 25, 2013.

I also found and digested CS Lewis’ more adult fantasy/scifi…Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra (Voyage to Venus) and That Hideous Strength

DISKWORLD TERRY PRATCHETT

At every opportunity I will pick up a new Pratchett book and while away time guffawing away to myself …loudly. Chortling on buses, trains and planes while head in a Discworld book should be a recognised form of entertainment. I even loved his science explanatory books!

HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY – DOUGLAS ADAMS

DON’T PANIC

I would agree to people being forced to read this…

SCI-FI (SF)

Sci-fi has been with me since the very first book I ever bought! Really a school sponsored book club… had a sci fi short story book called The Ice Warrior And Other Stories by Robin Chambers, I bought it as the cover had a boy kicking a football, was surprised to find it was not about football but I loved it anyway!

On holiday I picked up a cheap paperback Harry Harrison – Stainless Steel Rat...

Then each year I would be given various Sci-fi and Fantasy Anthologies, happily many of these contained many themes a young teenager should not be reading about…

Through my comic and D&D years (SEE BELOW) I maintained my love of Sci-Fi even to the extent of finding a market stall in Leeds that had 2nd hand sci-fi and fantasy books…I used to buy books by the bag load…I had lists of authors and their books to read. I was consuming books whole…

Then I started with funny sci-fi and fantasy: Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Harry Harrison again!

Neuromancer – Gibson, introduced me to the cyberpunk genre and I dwelt therein for some time.. my first serious GF was studying English and she helped push me into more ‘cerebral’* books…

*So called GOOD BOOKS, most of the list above… at the start of this post…

But every so often I get the lust to read SF or Fantasy and doing so have discovered some gems…

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, and his Baroque Cycle: QuicksilverThe Confusion and The System of the World.

Rim – Alexander Besher, Heavy Weather – Bruce Sterling and aformentioned Neuromancer all landed in my brain and there combined with Bladerunner and Syndicate Wars is the vision of the future I think will one day appear…The Corporate Planet!

HISTORICAL

Sharpe’s Company – Bernard Cornwell: Shockingly for pulp fiction it does explode some horror of the realities of war in these times…The fate of the Scots particularly sticks in they were the bravest they always went into the breach first! (Survival expectations sometimes being zero they would march on! –realization that culture has changed, the mentality of soldiering must have!) Also Captain Hownblower books by CS Forester.

CRIME

Detective novels along the lines of: Kurt Wallender by Henning Menkall, Aurelio Zen by Michael Dibdin, Commodore Bruschetti by Donna Leone and of course Rebus by Ian Rankin. My Mum is big into crime novels so I generally get very diverse books from her to read.

NON FICTION

Kundera – ‘The Art Of The Noval’

Calvino – ‘Why Read The Classics’

Heamingway  – ‘A Movable Feast’

Bill Bryson

Probably the first non-fiction books I ever read…(from choice, not education!)

‘Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe’, ‘Notes from a Small Island’, ‘The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words’, ‘Made in America (UK) / Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States (U.S.)’, ‘The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way’, (Not read his science book – A Short History of Nearly Everything now want to!)

Daniel Everett – ‘Language the Cultural Tool’

Bruce Sterling – ‘The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier’

I wanna be a hacker too!…read it, understand and find out that a hacker is good!

Kids books

War n Peas, Dr Suess –  Cat in the Hat, Fungus the Bogey Man, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe ( I used to steal my sisters to read!),

9781842700839 Seuss-cat-hat

Comics (these are counted as books nowadays?)

Watchmen, Cerberus the Aardvark, Akira, Sandman, SwampThing, Dennis the Mennis, Dan Dare, 2001AD, Avengers, X-men,  Stray Toasters, Naruto , Bleach, Thor, Spider-Man, 

I did keep my comic collection from childhood, bagged up in good condition but after a return home from university I was shocked to find my Dad selling them in a carboot sale,”These are selling really well son!” Yeah you dumb arse your selling them for 20p and they are worth pounds! I rescued some of the ‘better’ ones…

D&D rulebooks

Oh I used to read these often as a kid and invent worlds to match…pity never got to really play them…Had a lot of fun with the Marvel Superhero rule books as well!

Magazines

EDGE (intelligent computer game mag), SUPERPLAY (SNES Final Fantasy IV days), Imagine (for more D&D rules)

Newspapers

The Independent, The Guardian and The Economist

Nowadays I hardly ever read books, I have 3 hrs a day on transportation and am playing DoT! Main reason is simply the lack of access to affordable English books. Living in Argentina, inflation is actually making food too expensive…let alone other costs! I beg n borrow books from colleagues, I get hand me downs from my Mum and I find myself reading books I would never have read before…beggars can’t be choosers… I also read quite a few blogs as well as writing one… OH! …er well you may have noticed that!

‘I miss the smell of a new book,
(New as in not read!)
Second hand books have a special smell just as exciting…
The old yellowed page is just as stimulating as a crisp, freshly printed, white page.
The magic is preserved,
Preserved in the words.’

And this led me to analyze my consumption of words:

The normal adult has a vocabulary of 20-35,000 words (a native English speaker!)

You can take this test for an estimation of your English vocab: http://testyourvocab.com/result?user=4605456

But what is a word?

GOOGLE: word

noun

‘A single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed.’

Longman Dictionary: http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/word_1

word: unit of language

[countable] the smallest unit of language that people can understand if it is said or written on its own.

WIKIPEDIA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word

‘In linguistics, a word is the smallest element that may be uttered in isolation with semantic or pragmatic content (with literal or practical meaning). This contrasts with a morpheme, which is the smallest unit of meaning but will not necessarily stand on its own. A word may consist of a single morpheme (for example: oh!, rock, red, quick, run, expect), or several (rocks, redness, quickly, running, unexpected), whereas a morpheme may not be able to stand on its own as a word (in the words just mentioned, these are -s, -ness, -ly, -ing, un-, -ed). A complex word will typically include a root and one or more affixes (rock-s, red-ness, quick-ly, run-ning, un-expect-ed), or more than one root in a compound (black-board, rat-race). Words can be put together to build larger elements of language, such as phrases (a red rock), clauses (I threw a rock), and sentences (He threw a rock too but he missed).

The term word may refer to a spoken word or to a written word, or sometimes to the abstract concept behind either. Spoken words are made up of units of sound called phonemes, and written words of symbols called graphemes, such as the letters of the English alphabet.’

And why are words important?

“What is the good of words if they aren’t important enough to quarrel over? Why do we choose one word more than another if there isn’t any difference between them? If you called a woman a chimpanzee instead of an angel, wouldn’t there be a quarrel about a word? If you’re not going to argue about words, what are you going to argue about? Are you going to convey your meaning to me by moving your ears? The Church and the heresies always used to fight about words, because they are the only thing worth fighting about.”

― G.K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

“Words… They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good any more… I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”

― Tom Stoppard, The Real Thing: A Play

“of all the weapons of destruction that man could invent, the most terrible-and the most powerful-was the word. Daggers and spears left traces of blood; arrows could be seen at a distance. Poisons were detected in the end and avoided. But the word managed to destroy without leaving clues.”

― Paulo Coelho

“He had never clearly fathomed the true weight of a word of good, truth, and purity cast in the stream of human speech and the deep bend it cut in it. Nor had he thought that a word spoken boldly and loudly, with no hint of false shame, but rather with courage, that this word would not drown in the ugly cries of fashionable satyrs but would plunge like a pearl into the abyss of public life and always find itself a shell.

Many stumble over a good word, blushing in embarrassment, and utter a careless word boldly and loudly, never suspecting that it, too, unfortunately, will not go for naught but will leave a long trail of often times ineradicable evil.”

― Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov

“If literature truly possesses a mysterious power, I think perhaps it is precisely this: that one can read a book by a writer of a different time, a different country, a different race, a different language, and a different culture and there encounter a sensation that is one’s very own.”

― Yu Hua, 十個詞彙裡的中國

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”

― Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

― George Orwell, 1984

“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

― C.S. Lewis

“Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.”

― Jodi Picoult, Salem Falls

“Words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through.”

― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.”

― Philip K. Dick, VALIS

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”

― Confucius

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”

― Socrates

Just a few pokes to the brain, if none of these quotes stimulate any reaction in the grey matter I would seriously make an appointment with a doctor…

Words are magic:

ABRACADABRA

2 final playful thoughts on the word for word in other languages:

FR: Mot, bon mot, bon bon!

DK & ES: Ord, word, sword, parabla; is there a parable here?

Now back to LOTRO …or not as I didn’t even have chance to play this morning, I slept through all my alarms!

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5 Responses to “LOTRO: Word!”

  1. Pasduil October 28, 2014 at 14:31 #

    Great that you finally finished the post!

    I didn’t instigate the meme, just introduced into our circle!

    Also I’m a he, not a she. Was that your offbeat humor – sometimes it’s so offbeat I can’t tell it’s meant as humor! – or did you really not know?

    I don’t do a whole lot of disclosing personal info, but I thought that much was apparent to everyone!

    • tsuhelm October 28, 2014 at 14:33 #

      How weird I got my blogs n bloggers mixed up…SORRY not my weird humor and will be CORRECTED…humbly, sorry!

      • Pasduil October 28, 2014 at 17:04 #

        No worries. Sometimes I’m not sure which blogger writes which blog either.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Books Meme – A Compilation | Planet Pasduil - October 28, 2014

    […] Word! (Tsuhelm) […]

  2. Mr. Robot: Wot the F**K a TV review? | tsuhelm - May 29, 2015

    […] in Bruce Sterling’s– ‘The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier’ ( A book I highly recommend – dated, […]

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