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.

Typography map of Europe

Fascinating article (from 2012) about a German map that showed “the distribution of typefaces across Europe in 1901.” Article goes on to discuss the political significance of the Fraktur style of typefaces, and the ways that the Nazis first embraced and then rejected that style.

XXX: uʍop-ǝpısdn

It appears that in all these years, I’ve never yet written about turning text upside-down. Note: It’s possible that some parts of this column won’t be readable, depending on the font in which you’re reading it. Apologies if so. I think that if you view this column on the Words & Stuff site, in a […]