Ethology of words

Some words and phrases that I find interesting, for whatever reason, studied in their natural habitats.
Maybe looking at how someone is saying what they’re saying, looking ‘between the words’, is looking at what they believe, how they think, what they believe they believe (‘I’m not racist, but..’), cultural assumptions etc


Paul Redding

W’s account of X. Kant’s account of concepts. etc. Eventually I realized – philosophy is nothing but ‘accounts’! Accounts all the way down?
as it were
X is Y, as it were. Sounds like “X is ‘Y'”, it’s a kind of quote, not a scare quote, but a.. well, there are different varieties, I think. I always thought this was very interesting. Why you can’t just say “X is Y”. Because it’s “Y” in some metaphorical, informal, unusual, or imaginative sense. “Smith was rusty, as it were.” Maybe it’s just an unnecessary way of covering the objection “Ah, but Smith wasn’t literally rusty.”


Book on Miles studio recordings 1965-68

X’s strategy for negotiating those chord changes/rhythms
The initial gesture of Groovin’ High i.e. the first two notes. I don’t feel very comfortable with this word. It seems wanky. But maybe is the best. A gesture may be a phrase, rhythm, note etc. It’s kind of the unit of musical foreground, analogous to Dewey’s ‘an experience.’ (they have a certain thingness, wholeness. One note out of a long phrase (usually) isn’t a gesture, nor is a single brushstroke in a painting)
Art Blakey’s commitment to a certain kind of jazz


Jan Gustafsson

the players continued their discussion of the Berlin

Peter Svidler

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