language

Whiteness?

by Maria Purcariu

As I wake up each morning with a frizzy hair that I somehow have to tame, I thought of buying some fancy hair polishing wax in an attempt of looking like a human being. So I went to the closest cosmetics shop and I noticed that the prices were varying, from very cheap to this-thing-costs-a-fortune. Considering how much I love my hair, but also constantly reminding myself that I also need food, I chose that one brand that cost somewhere in middle.

All went well, there’s nothing I can complain about. But yesterday morning I was so bored that I started reading what was written on the back of the recipient and began making connections in my head. I am not going to name the brand, since that’s not so important.

poza2

My beloved fancy hair polishing wax and its multilingual descriptions. Click on the picture for a better view.

Before getting deep into this, I must mention that I bought my fancy hair polishing wax from a small town in Romania. Perhaps that’s exactly why I was expecting to find the description on the back written in Romanian. But no, there was no trace of such language, or something spoken in the neighborhood. Instead, I was surprised to see it translated from English to Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Finnish. As I am crazy about the Scandinavian countries I felt good about it at first, but then I was like: “Hmm. Where was this made?!”

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Language as a tool to create culture

By Crișan Mircea

When you read a book, the way the story is written, how the text unwraps itself before you, is more important than it would be if you watched a movie adaptation of the same book, because a story is modified and adapted for the transition to video by a screenwriter before becoming a film. This, of course, alters the original flow of the story, adding some of the screenwriter’s writing style to it.
The way the author expresses what he or she is trying to transmit is essential to keep the readers invested in the reading. For instance, I gave up on a lot of Jules Verne novels that might have turned interesting later, only because the author chose to start them with long descriptions that, according to me at the time, were boring. Looking back at them now, I realize that as boring as they are, those descriptions are useful to the story and that Jules Verne was a meticulous writer with a lot of attention to detail. Words and the way they are used can tell a story beyond the one laid on paper by the author. This is what Ben Blatt, writer for slate.com, had in mind when he made his textual analysis on “The Hunger Games” series, in comparison with Twilight. (more…)

The thin line between heavy metal and unfaithfulness

by Maria Purcariu

Browsing through the readings provided for the wonderful introductory course in social sciences that I’ve been blessed to study this year, I stumbled upon an idea that stirred my interest in particular.

This image:

horns

As it is a hand gesture familiar to me since I am a part-time die-hard metal fan, I noticed something below it that made me realize I have lived in ignorance for the past 21 years: I never thought about its second meaning. I got accustomed to this sign some time ago, as it is so closely related to the musical genres I’m keen on and I find it normal to be surrounded by people using it at concerts, in music videos, in the Dio poster I proudly stuck on the ceiling of my room when I was 14, and whatnot. For me, seeing the “horns” is as natural as brushing my teeth.
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