That reminds me…

Storyboard by Jan Van Hoof - dezeen

Storyboard by Jan Van Hoof (via Dezeen) is a wall made out of books,
which reminds me of The Paper House
The Paper House - Carlos Maria Dominguez

by Carlos Maria Dominguez (wherein a man is so overcome by his obsession with books that he has a house made out of them)

… which I bought in Paris
Paris from l'Arc de Triomphe

… at Shakespeare & Co, which is clearly a booklover’s paradise,Shakespeare & Co - inside

… and also has fabulously punny bags.
Shakespeare & Co - bags

At right: “The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go — Dr Seuss”… Open from 10am – 11pm, every day… “Your bookstore loves paper — and the forests!” [ie: please recycle]

At left: “Born to be a Livre”.
Means: Born to be a book.
Sounds like: Born to be alive.
Says to me: Both of these things, and born to be Olivia!

I love train/chain of thought.

First published at tumblr Proof (v.)

An intolerance for tolerance

Toleranc e- Print campaign for Red Cross
{ Print campaign for International Red Cross/Crescent via FFFFOUND! }

There is technically nothing wrong with the word ‘tolerance’, but I squirm every time I see it used to describe the notion of social and cultural egalitarianism (and this is its most common application, so the squirming is rather frequent).

I just can’t shake the feeling that when people use the word ‘tolerance’, they either

a) mean completely natural, unconscious, unforced, unqualified equality… which ‘tolerance’ by definition, is not. These people are unwittingly underselling their inspirational ideals.


b) mean tolerance in the true sense of the word, and tolerance, in this literal sense, is not much of an ideal at all.

In the OED, to ‘tolerate’ is

  1. a) To endure, sustain (pain or hardship) b) To endure with impunity or comparative impunity the action of (a poison or strong drug)
  2. a) To allow to exist or to be done or practised without authoritative interference or molestation; also generally, to allow, permit b) To allow, permit, suffer to do something
  3. To bear without repugnance; to allow intellectually, or in taste, sentiment or principle; to put up with

Similarly, ‘toleration’ is

  1. a) The action of sustaining or enduring; endurance (of evil, suffering etc)

  2. a) The action of allowing; permission granted by authority
  3. b) Locally in the US applied to license to gather oysters or keep oysterbeds
  4. a) Allowance (with or without limits), by the ruling power, of the exercise of religion otherwise than in the form officially established or recognised

And hence ‘tolerance’ is

  1. a) The action or practice of enduring or sustaining pain or hardship; the power or capacity of enduring; endurance b) (Physiological) The power…of enduring large doses of active drugs…c) (Forestry) …The ability of any organism to withstand some particular environmental conditiond) (Biological) The ability of an organism to survive or flourish despite infection with a parasite or an otherwise pathogenic organisme) (Immunological) The ability to accept without an immunological reaction an antigen that normally produces one
  2. [totally irrelevant]
  3. * The action or practice of tolerating; toleration; the disposition to be patient with or indulgent of the practices of others; freedom from bigotry or undue severity in judging the conduct of others; forbearance; Catholicity of spirit**

  4. a) (Technical) Coining: the small margin with which coins, when minted, are allowed to deviate from the standard fineness and weight; b) (Mechanical) an allowable amount of deviation in the dimensions of a machine or part.

On the whole, (apart from the oysters) I don’t think any of these convey a very positive meaning. And the thing with words is, they can’t drop their connotations from moment to moment. If the word ‘tolerance’ in the social context in any way suggests “an allowable amount of deviation” (because of its mechanical definition) it is an instant FAIL at expressing the ideal of tolerance. And even in the actual social definition, “to put up with” is an ugly, ugly, attitude (and a little off the mark, wouldn’t you say?).

What to do?  There is a facebook group advocating the word ‘acceptance’ instead of ‘tolerance’, but even this has a touch of ‘permission’ about it.

For now, I will experiment with ‘egalitarianism’, and sing along with Ben Lee: “We are all in this together”.

* The OED here quotes Coleridge’s Friend (1856): “The only true spirit of tolerance consists of our conscientious toleration of each other’s intolerance”.

** And don’t get me started on the irony of ‘Catholicity of spirit’

First published at tumblr Proof (v.)

Paperlust survives the typocalypse.

{ Typocalypse by Lars Willem Veldkampf on flickr }

I don’t much care for Verdana.

For the same reason that people prefer to read books printed on actual paper, rather than on a teensy tiny screen. Kindling is for starting fires (books most definitely are not) and screen fonts are ugly.

Also, I very much like Typocalypse (especially Curlz MT: “I am the taste of puke in your mouth”… BAHAHA) even if we don’t see eye to eye on Helvetica.

First published at tumblr Proof (v.)

James Bond: Licensed to specify typeface

James Bond Opening Sequence
{ image via Salon }

“M opened the pad, tamped the rubber stamp on it and then carefully, so that it was properly aligned with the top right hand corner of the docket, pressed it down on the grey cover…He turned the docket round and pushed it gently across the desk to Bond.

The red sanserif letters, still damp, said:

—  For Your Eyes Only published in Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories, by Ian Fleming (who clearly enjoyed writing finicky details like this).

First published at tumblr Proof (v.)

At least it’s not a hanging chad

…The dangling preposition has just started to bother me. I’m preeeetty certain that all this time it should have been “Change In Which We Can Believe”.

…But I also think we should all just let it slide, because I’m NOT going to share the same grammatical bandwagon as McCan’t/Failin’ supporters.

ALSO, re: This letter on Salon

@ Blueflash
Damn snappy, dawg.
PS. I am not saying Obama is stupid. Obviously “Change in which we can believe” would just add to his uppity-elitist-arugula-eating image in a way that would not benefit his campaign.
I’m just saying that his platform is not exceptionally complex and his campaign style has not been particularly intellectual.

— Rosenkavalier, 11 August 2008
(my emphasis)

I hope this is sarcasm, or if not, that the humble pie is good at this time of year.

First published at tumblr Proof (v.)