Saturday, January 21, 2006

books & music

...or more like music & books, because I'll do it in that order.

First off, check out my awesome cousin! There's now a video up on Google Video of him playing harmonica. He's fantastic at it. I think he'll be the next John Popper or Bob Dylan (at least, if those guys are good harmonicists (is that a word?) - I don't know if they are, but I mean to say he's excellent).

Also, yesterday I finally finished The Lanuage Instinct! Hurrah! Not that I didn't enjoy it, but it was long. And not always the most exciting. But I am glad I read it - I love the idea of language, and it was so great to read all those theories on how they believe language developed in our species, and how it develops in each person. Very interesting stuff. My favorite parts were all of the studies that were discussed, particularly those regarding people exceptional in their language abilities (those who were either surprisingly good or bad at speech or writing). Pinker wrote this book mostly for the layperson, and he was generally very inclusive and is very accepting of all kinds of speech that many linguists tend to look down their noses at - he often defended slang and language changes that others think are "lazy" deteriorations, pointing out that in fact our language has always been a constantly changing entity. However, there was a chapter ("The Language Mavens") where he kind of went on the attack at certain people (mostly others who considered themselves "professionals" but were really only annoying sticklers without much merit), and I didn't like that chapter much because I have to admit, I kind of like word games and the-origins-of-words type things. Even if they're just fun stories and not necessarily true. Oh well - that was the only part I wasn't too thrilled with. Otherwise, like I've said, some really neat stuff. I can understand why Sarah K wasn't too thrilled to read chapters of it in college (I would have hated to, as well), but I think taken as an entire book it was really a good learning experience for me. A bit slow at times, but worth it.

And now I'm on to my next book, Fahrenheit 451 - can you believe I've never read it?? I missed out on reading it in our high school curriculum (which probably would have meant I disliked it, anyway, since school often made me despise books I might have otherwise liked, because of overanalysis). I'm glad I'm finally getting around to it - it looks promising, so far.

This weekend doesn't consist of many plans, so far - and I'm glad. It's been a long time since I have had the chance to just kind of veg out for the weekend. Today Dan & I are going to go see a travel agent to talk to them about planning the trip to Japan, but otherwise, I hope to just kind of hang out and relax. And get some of those zillion things done that I need to get done. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Fahrenheit 451
AUTHOR: Ray Bradbury

TITLE: Idoru
AUTHOR: William Gibson

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