Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The February 5-List

Hello February! This year, where I live, the winter is being very… mathematical. Grey, rainy and warm-ish on even days, and clear and cold on odd days. In any case, any day is a good day to read and learn, so here is my monthly list:

Something to read: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Why? ‘It’s a novel, and a sci-fi one at that… Did you already not know what to put in your list anymore?’ I love the story, sure. But the way Keyes used and abused the English language, purposefully, carefully, playfully is, in my eyes, the real power of this book. The plot is better than good, it’s realistic science-fiction, but it’s the language which makes me cry. Also, it was translated in 30 languages, so you may even find yours.

Something to follow: Dictionary.com

Why? Not your average English dictionary. Normal words, quirky words, forgotten words are all brought to your daily life as they echo the (mostly political) news. Often offensive, but in a very Jane-Austen-polite way. Delicious.

Something for the learners: the WriteIt! apps

Why? I’m not necessarily a fan of language learning apps, but this one is a bit different. It doesn’t promise you the Moon, but simply to teach you a script. And since I usually come to a language through either its script or its literature, this was a ‘yipee!’ find. I mean, I won’t learn Japanese or Korean or Hebrew (although Arabic is on my list) but I may be tempted to learn to write them…

Something to listen to: This a capella Mongolian throat singing

Why? If I close my eyes when I listen to this, it becomes hard to imagine that a human body can make these metallic sounds. The breadth of human talent keeps me speechless. (I can’t sing, but I’m not often speechless.)

Something random: Classic Literature

Why? Entire works of classical English literature, for free (in the public domain) and accompanied by a mini-biography. What’s more to say?

Note: The Diffracted Word is not affiliated with any commercial or non-commercial venture quoted in this post. This is just the opinion of a language-lover bookworm.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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