Puritan names

Entertaining-by-modern-standards Puritan names: part one (2012), part two (2013). The posts don’t explicitly say whether these are real historical Puritan names or modern made-up ones, but I think the former. They appear to be extracted from Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature, by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley (1888), which you can now view online in its entirety […]

Mashrabiya

According to Wikipedia: A mashrabiya […] is a type of projecting oriel window enclosed with carved wood latticework located on the second storey of a building or higher, often lined with stained glass. The mashrabiya is an element of traditional Arabic architecture used since the Middle Ages up to the mid-20th century.

orography

The word orography comes from Greek words meaning hill and to write; hill-writing seems like an evocative image to me. But the word refers to, as Wikipedia describes it, “the study of the topographic relief of mountains.”

Visualizing Words: An Art-History Post

This altarpiece is quite large—120”x104”—which always makes me think about what it would be like to be in its presence on a regular basis when it was part of the chapel decorations in Siena Cathedral.  (I would urge you to look at it on Google Art as you can zoom in and see all the […]

Music descriptions in TV captions

When I watch TV, I generally watch with captioning enabled. There’ve long been captions of various sorts to indicate when music is playing, but I feel like in the past couple of years, the captioners have started getting more creative in their descriptions of the music. For example, in the first three episodes of the […]

Ming dynasty rebus

The Asian Art Museum’s online collection includes a dish labeled as Foliated dish with bird, deer, wasps, and monkey, from the Ming dynasty (specifically the period corresponding to 1567-1572). The images on the plate turn out to be a rebus. (See also column YY.) The images include, among other elements, a bird, a deer, some […]

launchedits

I was momentarily very confused by this phrase in a news article: Google also just launchedits own audiobook service In particular, I wondered what launch edits were. Eventually I figured out there was a space missing after the d, and that phrase was meant to be launched its.