The first dictionary of slang, out of print for 300 years, is being published by the Bodleian Library from a rare copy unearthed in its collections.
With over 4,000 entries, the dictionary contains many words which are now part of everyday parlance, such as ‘Chitchat’ and ‘Eyesore’ as well as a great many which have become obsolete, such as the delightful ‘Dandyprat’ and ‘Fizzle’. Remarkably, this landmark of English from 1699 was compiled and published anonymously, by an author who has left us only his initials – ‘B.E. Gent [gentleman]’.
B.E.’s dictionary is a lost gem. It offers real insight into life during the period and bristles with humorous and eminently quotable definitions, many of which reveal the earthier side of seventeenth-century London. Now available to the general reader, this book offers a tantalising glimpse of the linguistic richness of English, at a time when slang was being codified.
Simply amazing. I love entries such as Grumbletonians, Lantern-jaw’d and Princock.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of visiting Jordan Provost and Jason Wong, the dynamite duo behind Brooklyn based stationery and gift line enormouschampion. Their incredible collection of letterpressed cards, screenprinted cloth, and wooden goods features images of animals, love, and nature, as well as bold type. In this studio visit, Jordan and Jason show us some of their favorite things and offer a couple of handy hints on organizing and collecting.
Their studio is absolutely fantastic. Check out the many photos and revel in all that triumph of lovely objects.
Even though people feel entertained, even relaxed, when they multitask while exercising, or pass a moment at the bus stop by catching a quick video clip, they might be taxing their brains, scientists say.
‘People think they’re refreshing themselves, but they’re fatiguing themselves,’ said Marc Berman, a University of Michigan neuroscientist.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but for me, creative pausing continues to play an important role in maintaining mental acuity.
You should read both the New York Times article and Cameron’s musings in his self-linked post Why thinking in the shower may be an ideal model for “creative pause”.
A Dutch designer says resurrecting the microcar is the key to reducing congestion and maximizing efficiency.
Ralph Panhuysen, whose Space Efficient Vehicle (SEV) seats three in a sideways V formation and parks two abreast like shoes in a shoebox, dreams of a world in which small, lightweight cars sip fuel and travel two-abreast in a single lane.
“Fiat brought back the 500, BMW the Mini, Volkswagen the Beetle,” said Panhuysen. “Wouldn’t it be great to see a successor to the Isetta, Messerschmitt and Heinkel?”
Hell yeah, I say. I really like the oval, 3-wheel design.
We’re proud to announce that a major new version of Simplenote is just around the corner. It should be available in a matter of days.
Simplenote has been growing fast. Over the months, we’ve received all kinds of great feedback. We processed this feedback, pondered it, prioritized it, and came up with 3 areas of focus for this version: reliability, organization, and sharing.
For those of you who use 3rd-party Simplenote clients, you’ll need to wait a little while before new features start showing up there. 3rd-party developers will need some time to work with the new version.
This is great news. I’m a Simplenote + Notational Velocity happy user, and I’ve been immensely satisfied with this combination so far, as I previously wrote in my main blog. I can’t wait for the new & improved version.
A great collection of articles and essays on type design and environs, available in PDF format. Since I’ve fallen in love again with an old favourite, Perpetua, at the moment I’m reading The Story of Perpetua, written by the excellent Tiffany Wardle.
“We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation — to make a point — than to further the cause of truth. The latter end is only pursued when it seems coincident with the former.”—Edgar Allan Poe, in The Mystery of Marie Rogêt, 1842-43
Building a palette is an intuitive process, but expanding a typographic duet to three, four, or even five voices can be daunting. Here are four tips for navigating the typographic ocean, all built around H&FJ’s Highly Scientific First Principle of Combining Fonts: keep one thing consistent, and let one thing vary.
Not a fresh link, but this is must-read, must-bookmark material.
First is the sound. That lovely wooden-stick-on-a-hollow-log “thonk” that announces each keystroke is yet to be duplicated. It’s satisfying in a way that affirms your productivity. Much like the jackhammer operator feels content at the end of a noisy day’s work, I feel that I got much accomplished with all that thonking and clacking.
I also love the keyboard’s feel. Apple’s Bluetooth keyboards are nice, but the keys barely move when pressed. In contrast, the Extended Keyboard’s keys just drop when pressed, providing wonderful tactile feedback. They then spring back with perfectly appropriate force. I’ve used some keyboards that either repelled my fingers on the upstroke or yielded like cold oatmeal when pressed. They’ve all made me long for the ancient artifact in my office.
Finally, I love this keyboard’s longevity. It’s nearly 20 years old and working flawlessly. Once a year I take it apart and give it a good cleaning, and that’s the only maintenance it’s ever required. When reassembled it looks great and is ready for duty. In fact, the keyboard on my MacBook Pro has lost keys while the Extended Keyboard works as it did the day I unboxed it. Also, the Griffin iMate I use for ADB to USB connectivity years ago still works, and Mac OS X (so far at least) is happy to let me use it.
Any job is more pleasant when you can use tools that you love. I’ve used other rigs over the years, but when I’m sitting in my own quiet office with the Extended Keyboard II beneath my hands, I feel that I could write forever.
I still use this very keyboard and agree with Caolo on every point he makes. When I have to recharge the batteries of the Apple Wireless Keyboard, instead of using another set of batteries, I grab my Griffin iMate and connect the Apple Extended Keyboard II. And I love it. It came with a Quadra 700 I bought second-hand in 1998 and when I started typing on it, I immediately had my ‘eureka’ moment. I’ve been using it for years ever since. Now it needs some cleaning, since there are a couple of keys which behave a bit erratically, but I won’t leave it behind. I’m actually thinking about getting a second one.
My desktop computer is a brand new 27” i5 quad core iMac with 4GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Though plenty responsive, it’s not as blindingly fast as I would have expected. But the screen. Oh my word, the screen. I have just shy of 4 megapixels of real estate on a brilliantly saturated high-contrast display that I just can’t stop looking at. Viewing my DSLR photos on this screen feels like seeing them for the first time.
So, these oft-criticised, infamous glossy displays aren’t that bad after all.
Grain Edit kindly informs that the good folks at YouWorkForThem have released some beautiful new fonts. Check the link in the title for a detailed overview of the new releases, and go visit YouWorkForThem’s Fonts section for even more type goodness.
Insightful article by Khoi Vinh about Tumblr, and quite linked to. Especially the Identity Crisis bit. He writes:
My biggest complaint, by far, has bothered me for some time but has taken me only until recently to put my finger on. Tumblr discourages identity. Or, to be more specific, it promotes shallow identity. Moreso than other blogging systems like WordPress or ExpressionEngine, Tumblr blogs frequently offer only scant few details about their authors. I can’t recall how many Tumblr sites I’ve visited where it wasn’t clear who was behind the posts, what their background was, or what their intent was. Many of these sites are artful, well designed and are actually quite engaging, but I guess I’m old fashioned in that I like to know who’s behind them.
It’s a reasonable objection, but I do have to ask: is it really Tumblr’s fault? I follow some tumblelogs whose authors I can’t find any detail about, at all. However, to me it seems a deliberate choice on their part. Sure, Tumblr has a minimalist flair by design, but if someone wants to provide more information about themselves, nothing in Tumblr’s system really prevents them from doing so.
I use this tumblelog as a companion of my main Wordpress blog mainly because I like to keep links, small notes, bits and quick comments separate from my main blog, where I like to post longer articles and analyses. But the identity problem is quickly resolved in the few lines at the top beneath the title: you immediately know what this place is and who the author is. Because I chose to specify these details. Tumblr’s design did not either encourage or discourage my providing information or links about myself.
This hint links to a third party driver for the Apple Magic Mouse. It’s still in beta but works great. It works for all operating systems from 10.4 on. Their Preference pane/driver offers greater functionality for the Magic Mouse than the native Apple driver.
I’m on holiday with just my MacBook Pro, so I still haven’t been able to test this hint, but looks interesting enough.
I’ve discovered this project by David Friedman only now (Ironic Sans is his main blog).
What is Sunday Magazine? As David writes in the About Page:
Every Friday I post the most interesting articles from the New York Times Sunday Magazine that was published exactly 100 years ago that weekend. You can get each week’s articles by subscribing to the RSS feed, or following @sundaymagazine on Twitter, or by becoming a fan on Facebook.
Each entry includes a scan of the original article that you can read for yourself by zooming in and panning, plus David’s commentary, which is always a treat.