“When someone says something we don’t understand it doesn’t mean they’re crazy, it means we’re not smart enough to understand.”
– V.S. Ramachandran
Making words up is not a sign of illness, it’s a form of expression.
Every word you ever read heard, read spoke or wrote was once made up by somebody.
James Joyce famously played with language. He was a master of English, yet it remained for him an adopted language – the one he learned to use, under protest. He learned to use English to make great art, express himself , have his voice heard, but it remained imposed, adopted, inadequate to express what he really needed to express.
Joyce famously modified and made up words. His final book Finnegan’s Wake, some parts contain barely a word you’ll find in a dictionary and is often regarded as one of the hardest books to read, worthy of a life spent learning how.
Joyce fought against others’ ideas of who he was supposed to be and how literature was supposed to be. He bent a few noses and really pissed off many including the Catholic Church; some of his papers are still regarded as unpublishable.
Yet he was one of the key figures who helped us break free from rigid ideas that a small few people get to tell the rest of us how to live, how to be, what to think, what to say, and how to say it. He was exiled from Ireland and his beloved Dublin and moved to Paris.
When he was fighting doctors who wanted to diagnose and hospitalize his daughter he said “she’s playing the same games with language that I do” and then they took exile in Paris.
Stanley Unwin played a similar game but his work was perhaps more accessible -so long as someone managed to record his performance from the TV or radio and now share it with us on Youchoob.
More genial uncle than genius artist and cultural iconoclast, Professor Stanley Unwin perfected neologism as artform of a different kind – light entertainment.
As his opening begins with here, what you hear may not be the way you think it’s supposed to sound.
If you stay with that then you will remain “not smart enough”.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to learn how…
How do we understand?
How do we become smart enough to Understand?
Well, we listen.
That is not listen as in active listening where we mentally tick off some bullet point list of things we’re supposed to do to make it look like we’re listening,
It’s not listening as in waiting for our opportunity to interrupt,
And it’s not hearing but thinking “that doesn’t make sense”
It is just listening – actual real life listening as in “just shut the fuck up and listen’.
If you want to expand your ability to listen then you can try it here with Stanley Unwin- consider this free online training –
If you can hold yourself open to really listen , listen to what is being said, listen to the story, the person you will find you begin to understand.
It might take you a few goes.
With practice you’ll come to realise that what he’s saying does make total sense.
You’ll notice how actually listening feels different, and lets you hear so much more, enables you to understand so much more.
You might even let yourself have some fun and try a bit of neologism-ing yourselfylode.
Stanley Unwin – Goldiloppers And The Three Bearloders
Now, once a-polly tito. You may think that doesn’t sound quite right. But believe me, once a-polly tito it is, and in this case it was Goldyloppers.
Goldyloppers trittly-how in the early mordy, and she falolloped down the steps.
Oh unfortunade for crackening of the eggers and the sheebs and the buttery full-falollop and graze the knee-clappers.
So she had a vaselubrious, rub it on and a quick healy huff and that was that.
So off she went, and she went trittly-how down the garbage path, and at the left right-hand-side goal she passed a [sniff] poo-pom, it was hillows a humus heapy in the garbage!
But never mind.
Erm… she lost her wail.
Now this is a sadness, dear childers, because in the slight misty haze which all forry, let me tell you, in the ephemeral forry there’s always a fairy control where the misty risey huff there, and so she was completely lost it.
Oh folly, folly.
There was a cotty; so she went up, all ready with the basket and picked up the butter and all that with a little bit of birch she scrape it off and rub it and down her clothesee.
Mum would be cross but… never mind.
Clop clop on the door.
This little cotty had a jar on the door, so she went in.
Three baseload of porry on the tabloid, all slightly steamy huff, and nobody at.
She called out: [as though down a cardboard tube]
Nobody. Folly, folly, and a little hunger was with her, so she falolloped a taste out of the first basel.
This was the large baseload and too oversalty for the flabe p’t’t’t spitty-how.
Oh dear! Now the middload was a middle flabe which was not too oversalt and a sugar flabe on her saliva glam and it wasn’t course quite satisfactual; so she did a tasty most in the little baseload there, and it was a joy.
And oh [gulp] (pardlo!) as she stuffled it down!
Oho dear! Now this was great, but there was also a little tiredness in the Goldyloppers and she sat on a three-lebber stool and — tock falolloper! — all the lebbers floating across the corm, sat on her bocus there, bruisey most.
Well, still there was no one around, so she went brrrrrr tock up the stairloaders. And she found a
large bedding, not a caypack that eiderdown but stuffled with feathers, but here and there a stalk, as you know is a big feathersy eaglode and it stuckening in her back; and it was most uncomfortipold.
So she saw the cotty, and in this cot she did lay down: [snore, zzzzz] deep sleevers under the eiderdobe. Well, while she was this thus sleepy and a deep dream of peaks, then up came the bears into the cotty.
Now the fatherbold bear looking around and say: “Who’s been tasting and suffling my porry? Ho ho, dear!”
And then the mother bear look it in her baseload of porry and said: [tube voice again]
“Who been tasting my porry? Oohhhh, a bedder pinger!”
So the small bear came and said: “Who touches my baseload and falolloping all down, mum! Huh-ha-ho dear, look it and empty and not scratching on the bottom!”
And there was a general consternail uproar and complaint about the three-lebbed stool bear, all the bits and floaty, and so they had a looking it around the houseloader.
[Brrrrrr tock] Big bear, [higher pitch: brrrrrr tock] middle bear, [higher still: brrrrrr ss’t’t] they all went up the stairloaders, and soon there was a dent discovery in mum and dad’s bedling
when the dirty footmark of where she did her trottly over-and-how and then into the cops’t’k. And the little bear said: “Oh lookadee, mum!
There’s a lying of some Goldyloppers!” But at this mode, she jumped up in the middle of her deep dream and sleep peacey, [snore, whistle] out of the windload, slide it and huffalo-dowder the drainpikers, and through the forry fast awail!
And they all looked such consternail through the windload, they hadn’t time to say: “You naughty girlage!” Huh-huh-huh-huh!
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And a big FUNKYTOWN to making up your own freewords, that’s what every language is anyway, a bunch of words that peeps made up themselves because other words didn’t fit their wordless juicylips experience. Shakespeare and Kerouac baybeh.
And thanks for the Unwin tip.
This book may be of interest to some: http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/wisdom-listening
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oh fabuloso falopoptomus folly .