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The Voice of the Turtle

hosted by Tom Jones  //  Monday at 3p est

"The Voice of the Turtle might be jazz or blues from the 1920s, classic psychedelia from the '60s and 70s, folk or funk or pop or rock & roll or Clara Rockmore, the queen of the Theremin. Or not.  Audience participation is encouraged, so please come join me."  - tj


John Henry Vs. The Steam Drill

A few days ago I downloaded the latest version of iTunes, which features a new thing they're calling "Genius Shuffle", which makes some rather highfalutin' claims about its ability to put music together.  I chose to take this as a challenge to my own abilities in that line, and my 9.30.13 show is my response.  Using only the music in my iTunes library (all of which is also in the A24R library), I programmed one hour and let the "Genius" program the other.  Now I'd like to know--can you tell which is which?  And if so, which did you like better?  The show, and the playlist, divided into First Hour and Second Hour segments, can be found right now, and for the next couple of weeks, in the Vault.  Check it out, make your guess, and report it here as a comment.  If you want, you can write to me at logovore@gmail.com.  Thanks for playing--tell your friends & neighbors they can play too!


What Do You Hear; What Do You Say?

I have, heaven help me, been Reading a lot of Dickens lately--American Notes, Martin Chuzzlewit, Oliver Twist and now Our Mutual Friend.  I've never been a big fan, and this latest burst of Dickensing hasn't done much to alter that, though there are some wonderful things to be found in there if you are patient and persistant enough.  But that's not I wanted to talk about. Several times, ol' Chuck D. uses the expression "bran new". I also remember seeing it in Mark Twain's writing and now that I think about it, have heard a lot of people pronouncing it that way. I have always said (and written)"brand new" myself, but neither adjective makes obvious sense as a modifier of "new". Why "brand"? Or "bran", for that matter?

According to Visual Thesaurus.com, "brand new" has been around somewhat longer; it appeared in the text of a sermon by one John Foxe in1570. They speculate that the "brand" part refers to a firebrand newly snatched from the fire. That sounds a little shaky to me, but I can't think of a better explanation off the top of my head. "Bran new" first appeared in print almost a century later in 1664. Dictionaries over the years have listed both forms but, when a preference is stated it is almost always in favor of the "brand" construction.

Also in Dickens are references to "blind man's buff", which is the way I learned to say it; but over the years I've heard many more people use "blind man's BLUFF". Again, neither word makes obvious sense, so there's no logical right or wrong choice.  Which do you say? And while we're on the subject; when you're gunning for somebody, do you have it "IN" for them, or "OUT" for them? I hear that second more and more.  And when something happens in an instant, is it "all of a sudden" or "all of THE sudden"? Are these things regional? Cultural? Generational? Do you know of a similar word or phrase? These are not rhetorical questions--looking for some feedback here, people.


There's A Word For That-a Logovoracious coinage

There are several words in English which, screwily, mean their own opposite.  In Elizabethan times, "doubt" could mean to question or to have no question. Nowadays, we have words like "sanction", which can permit or punish, and "oversight", which can mean to observe or to ignore. One must determine which meaning is intended from context. It's all very confusing and, as far as I have been able to determine there is no term of linguistic art for these things. Oxymoron comes close, but it means something more like self-contradictory, which these are not.

I have decided to try to fill this void in our language by coining a new term.  I considered "autoantonym", which would accurately describe the phenomenon, but I find the double prefix (auto-ant) infelicitous and possibly confusing. After much cogitation, I came up with, and now propose "isomoron".   Its similarity to the aforementioned oxymoron will serve as a clue to its meaning, and I like the way it sounds.  I am aware that the etymology is shaky (iso- means same,-moron foolish) but it's close enough. I believe that with use its meaning will become clear to all.

So I invite to to use my spanking new word whenever the occasion arises. Tell your friends and neighbors about it.  And remember--you heard it first on The Logovore's Dilemma. (BTW-I talked about this on the show on 6/20/11, which can be found in the Vault for the next couple of weeks).  And just for the record

Isomoron  (I-so-MOR-on) N. A word which means its own opposite. 


house money; borrowed time

Some people were expecting the end of days on May 21st, owing to the prediction of engineer turned Mad Prophet Harold Camping. It turns out that this date was his second bite at the apple--his numbers originally told him that our expiration date was sometime in 1994.

I think he had it right the first time.  I mean, has anything that's happened in the last 17 years seemed real to you? I say everything stopped way back then, and we've just been too distracted to notice.  So we may be on borrowed time, but we're also playing with house money. Live it up!


Who Speaks For The Roses? A Protest

  Though the two hours I spend presenting The Logovore's D are my favorite 120 minutes of each week, I will not be doing a show today. I make this sacrifice to protest the horrific treatment of literally millions of our friends in the vegetable kingdom. As I write this, rose bushes the world over, without their knowledge and most certainly without their consent, have already had their reproductive organs hacked off, bundled up (often in bunches of a dozen or more) and transported to far-flung locations throughout the so-called civilized world.

  Once the mutilated organs reach their destination, they are routinely festooned with blood-red ribbons, thrust into containers of cold water and put on display for all to see.  Grotesquely, all this is considered romantic. In fact, many people (especially women, I am sorry to say) have come to expect this from their mates as an expression of their affection.  And apart from praying their thorns will avail them in their hour of peril, the roses are powerless to prevent it.

  I hear some of you saying, "Don't worry, they'll grow back; and besides, they're so pretty."  That may be so, but if it were you or your loved ones so threatened, I doubt you'd be so sanguine about it.  In fact, I suspect you'd do anything in your power to prevent it, no matter how decorative the display might have been.

  There are alternatives out there, but these too are fraught with peril. Chocolates? How about brightly-wrapped bundles of doggie poison.  Diamonds? I hardly know where to begin on that subject.

  So I take what action I can.  I protest in silence.  I chop no roses. I buy no diamonds.  As for the rest of you, have a happy Valentine's Day.  I just hope you can live with yourselves.  See you next Monday.