Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New words

One of the joys of the English language is that there are always new words to discover. A couple from today.

In Michael Cook's A Brief History of the Human Race, talking about the Mesoamerican calendars:

The number twenty was very much in place in Mesoamerica because the counting system was vigesimal (in other words, the base of the system was 20, not 10 as it is with us).

And here's an old friend I haven't seen used in forever. From Johan Huizinga's The Autumn of the Middle Ages, describing the sights, sounds and smells of living in a medieval town:

But one sound always rose above the clamor of busy life and, no matter how much of a tintinntabulation, was never confused with other noises, and, for a moment, lifted everything into an ordered sphere: that of the bells.

No comments:

Post a Comment