Today I read an interesting perspective on Dutch language, particularly the rather unique ‘ij’ sound in that language. But more than that, it’s a poetic take on the way language seems to feel. (via Snarkmarket)
“Thereâ€™s something slightly disturbing about the visual scan of the language (I donâ€™t even know what the term is for that: you know when you see a page, or a sign, written in a language and you have an immediate impression of the content of the text? This works also in your native language: look at a page from, like, Dickens, and you can sort of get the Shudder of the Text, or whatever, anyway, what I mean is that some languages, like French, always seem to bear a melismatic philosophy behind the page; German, an authority, Amharic, a crooked delight…) … with Dutch what I get is a sort of childlike pornography: hoog, sneeuwt, poesje, standplaats. But Iâ€™m obsessed with it: thereâ€™s nothing better than having an old school diagraph still kicking around like an appendix.”
I like the word melismatic in this context, as though the words on the page were the notes and the meaning of the page was the word or melisma. It’s a new one on me even though I subscribe to A.Word.A.Day and occasionally test my vocabulary at FreeRice.