Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Erik Satie - Gnossiennes No 1

Homeless in East Jerusalem

UN official calls Israel 'Apartheid'

"Tortured Logic," Corporal Punishment, Georgia's Kosher Laws and more

ACLU Online

In This Issue

You Weren't Meant to Hear This

Government Must Disclose Justification for 5-year Gag on Internet Provider

Students with Disabilities Face Corporal Punishment at Higher Rates

Public Housing Policy Tears Families Apart

The Enforced Disappearance of Mustafa Setmarian Nassar

When Kosher isn't Kosher

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The Enforced Disappearance of Mustafa Setmarian Nassar

In October 2005, Mustafa Setmarian Nassar, a Spanish citizen of Syrian origin and an influential Islamic theorist, was apprehended by agents of the Pakistani government and handed over to U.S. officials. Nassar's wife and family have not heard from him since. They do not know where he is located; they do not know if he is alive or dead.

The ACLU, together with Alkarama for Human Rights and Reprieve sent a request to the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, asking that the Working Group take up Mr. Nassar's case with the government of the United States and requested that the Working Group fully investigate the specific circumstances of Mr. Nassar's enforced disappearance at the hands of the U.S. government.

Similar requests were also sent to Martin Scheinin, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, and Manfred Nowak, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, on Mr. Nassar's behalf. These requests implicate the government of the United States as well as the governments of Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Syria and Spain who were all involved in some capacity in Mr. Nassar's enforced disappearance as part of the "extraordinary rendition" program.

>> Learn more about Nassar's case.

ACLU Lawsuit Charges Georgia Kosher Laws Are Unconstitutional

The State of Georgia's Kosher Food Labeling Act mandates that any food labeled kosher in that state must be certified to be in accordance with "orthodox Hebrew religious rules and requirements."

Which isn't a problem, unless you're a Reform or Conservative or other, non-Orthodox Jew in Georgia.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Kosher Food Labeling Act. By mandating that any food sold as kosher in the state of Georgia must meet the "Orthodox Hebrew religious rules and requirements," the challenged statute delegitimizes alternative interpretations of kosher adhered to in other Jewish communities.

The lawsuit was filed in Fulton County Superior Court on behalf of Shalom Lewis, rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim in Cobb County who, as a conservative Jew, is unable to fulfill his rabbinical duties to supervise food establishments because his theological interpretation of the kosher laws differs from that of Orthodox Judaism.

"Having the state choose which rabbis are 'legitimate' and which are not puts many rabbis in a precarious position," said Debbie Seagraves, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia. "Congregations rely on their rabbis to provide the kind of religious guidance that this state law prohibits them from providing, unless they are Orthodox. The state of Georgia should not hold the power to define who is 'official' Jewish clergy. That is clearly a matter of faith, not the proper role of government."

According to the ACLU's lawsuit, the Kosher Food Labeling Act violates the religious liberty guarantees of both the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions by endorsing only "Orthodox Hebrew religious rules and requirements" and criminalizing the practices of the many people across the state who, while seeking kosher products, subscribe to interpretations of kosher that differ from those of Orthodox Jews.

>>Read the complaint.

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August 15, 2009

You Weren't Meant to Hear This

Oliver Stone, Rosie Perez, Philip Glass and a host of talented performers have come together to expose something our government tried to keep secret from the American people.

The Bush torture memos brought to light by the ACLU reveal a systematic program of torture so appalling that it would be a moral outrage to let those who authorized it escape a criminal investigation.

The chilling and clinical nature of these memos really sinks in when you hear them read aloud. These memos shamefully contorted the law to justify the crime of torture, and now it's time for those responsible for this dark episode in our history to be held accountable to the American people.

The video's release comes amid recent news reports suggesting that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is considering appointing a prosecutor to investigate torture. However, press reports indicate that Holder envisions an investigation narrow in scope that would focus only on low-level interrogators and contract employees.

There is ample evidence already in the public domain that the widespread and systemic torture of detainees was authorized at the highest levels of the Bush administration. We cannot move forward confidently knowing that the abuses of the past will not be repeated by future administrations as long as everyone knows that the powerful people who perpetrated and enabled these serious crimes got off scot free. The attorney general should appoint a special prosecutor who will follow the facts where they lead, whether it be to prisons overseas or to the halls of power at home.

>>Watch Tortured Logic now. Then send it to Attorney General Eric Holder and ask that he appoint an independent prosecutor.

Government Must Disclose Justification for 5-year Gag on Internet Provider

A federal court has ruled that the government must reveal portions of the evidence it has relied on to justify its continued gag order on an Internet service provider (ISP) that the FBI served with a national security letter (NSL) more than five years ago. The ruling, which requires the government to produce an unclassified summary of that evidence as well as a redacted version of a secret declaration it filed in June, came in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of the ISP.

Under a Patriot Act provision, the FBI uses NSLs to demand personal customer records from ISPs, financial institutions and credit companies without prior court approval. The FBI routinely imposes gag orders on NSL recipients which prohibit them from disclosing information about the FBI's demand for sensitive customer records.

"The government's reliance on completely secret evidence to justify this five-year-old, unconstitutional gag order undermined our John Doe client's right to a fair process," said Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. "The court was right to find that the government cannot continue to silence Doe based entirely on evidence we are not even allowed to see, let alone given a meaningful opportunity to refute."

Because the FBI imposed a gag order on the ISP, the lawsuit -- now called Doe v. Holder -- was initially filed under seal, and even today the ACLU is prohibited from disclosing its client's identity. The FBI continues to maintain the gag order even though the underlying investigation is more than five years old and even though the FBI abandoned its demand for records from the ISP over two years ago.

>>Learn more about the case.

Students With Disabilities Face Corporal Punishment at Higher Rates
Impairing Education

>>Read Impairing Education, a new report detailing corporal punishment of students with disabilities.

In the 2006 -- 2007 school year, nearly a quarter of a million school children were subjected to corporal punishment in public schools. Impairing Education, a report released this week by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch, finds that students with disabilities -- who have a right to appropriate, inclusive educational programs that give them the opportunity to thrive -- are nonetheless subjected to this violent discipline at disproportionately high rates.

Corporal punishment -- from paddling, to throwing children into walls or floors -- is routine in public schools in many parts of the United States. Impairing Education documents many such cases. No student should be subjected to these abusive forms of discipline, but students with disabilities, who already face extra challenges, can be particularly vulnerable to physical or psychological harm from these punishments.

The use of corporal punishment on children with disabilities violates the right to freedom from cruel, degrading treatment and violence guaranteed to them under international human rights law. Children with disabilities have the right to an inclusive education, yet corporal punishment impinges on this right and creates barriers to their success.

No child should be hit, especially the most vulnerable.

>>Take Action: Stand with the ACLU against corporal punishment.

>>Learn about ways you can help end corporal punishment.

Public Housing Policy Tears Families Apart

What if the government told you your family couldn't live together? That your father, or your son, or your boyfriend couldn't even come over to your house to visit? That if he did visit you, he would be arrested, prosecuted for trespassing, possibly incarcerated, and you could be evicted?

That's exactly what the city of Annapolis, MD, is telling its public housing residents.

The city's public housing authority maintains a list of people -- currently over 500 -- who are banned from being on or near public housing property. The housing authority claims that all of these people are a danger to the community, but the fact is many of them have never been convicted or even charged with a crime, while others committed minor offenses years ago and have long since served their time. Still, they can't get off the list.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit earlier this week to challenge the policy that unlawfully bans certain individuals from being on or near public housing in Annapolis, Maryland, even when they are invited guests of tenants. Under the policy, Annapolis public housing residents who allow banned friends and family members into their homes are subject to eviction.

The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, charges that the banning policy violates the rights of public housing residents and their families and friends to free association, privacy and quiet enjoyment in their own homes.

"This policy doesn't promote public safety, it prevents parents from raising their children," said Ariela Migdal, a staff attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project. "Separating people from their families doesn't make public housing safer, it just aggravates social problems."

>>Learn more about the Annapolis public housing ban and the ACLU case challenging it.

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Rights group says Israelis shot dead unarmed civilians carrying white flags:

Rights group says Israelis shot dead unarmed civilians carrying white flags:
In one case, the civilians were walking in a group on a street. In another, they were driving slowly on tractors and in cars, trying to leave the area. Human Rights Watch said it could find no evidence of misuse of white flags or the use of civilians as human shields in the cases detailed.

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Gates: It's A "Mystery" How Long US Forces Will Be In Afghanistan:

Gates: It's A "Mystery" How Long US Forces Will Be In Afghanistan:
The Pentagon presented a grim portrait of the Afghanistan war Thursday, offering no assurances about how long Americans will be fighting there or how many U.S. combat troops it will take to win.

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Wag The Dog, Again by Philip Giraldi :

Wag The Dog, Again by Philip Giraldi :
Israeli media reports that visiting National Security Adviser General Jim Jones and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have told the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop complaining about Iran because the US is preparing to take action "in eight weeks" demonstrate that even when everything changes in Washington, nothing changes.

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Iraqi journalists stage protest:

Iraqi journalists stage protest:
Hundreds of people demonstrate in Baghdad against "censorship and intimidation".

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Army Reduces Soldiers' Murder Sentences:

Army Reduces Soldiers' Murder Sentences:
The U.S. Army said Friday it had reduced the sentences of three soldiers convicted of murder in the execution-style slayings of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees.

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Government Website Takes Over Your Computer Forever By Glenn Beck - Video

Government Website Takes Over Your Computer Forever
By Glenn Beck - Video
FOX's Glenn Beck: If You Go To - The Federal Government Takes Over Your Computer Forever

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If US health Care's So Good, Why Do Other People Live Longer? By Carrie Peyton Dahlberg

If US health Care's So Good,
Why Do Other People Live Longer?
By Carrie Peyton Dahlberg
People live longer in just about every industrialized nation, from Canada to our north, throughout much of Europe, and around the Pacific in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

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The Doomsday Code Video Documentary

he Doomsday Code
Video Documentary
Tony Robinson investigates the people with powerful political friends in the White House, who are trying to bring about the end of the world.

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California Man Tasered While Sitting on His Porch 1 Minute Video

California Man Tasered While Sitting on His Porch
1 Minute Video
Black man tazed on his front porch, showing no signs of aggression. The cops just walk up and taze him.

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What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom "F*ck You Buddy" Must Watch Video Documentary By Adam Curtis (BBC)

What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom
"F*ck You Buddy"
Must Watch Video Documentary By Adam Curtis (BBC)
Curtis is best known for his 2004 series The Power of Nightmares: This detailed how neocons in the US talked up the threat of radical Islamism to justify their "war on terror". The Trap is even more ambitious in scope. Like The Power Of Nightmares, it uses archive footage and interviews to explore the history and political impact of an idea - in this case the model of "individual freedom" that underlies neoliberal economics.

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Pay-or-Die Ralph Nader on Secret White House Agreements with the Drug Industry By Democracy Now!

Ralph Nader on Secret White House Agreements with the Drug Industry
By Democracy Now!
What we'll end up with is another patchwork piece of legislation, allowing huge and expanded profits for the health insurance companies and the drug companies, and continuing this pay-or-die system that has plagued this country for decades, a system that takes 20,000 lives a year, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. That's about fifty to sixty people who die every day.

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Internal Memo Confirms Big Giveaways In White House Deal With Big Pharma By Ryan Grim

Internal Memo Confirms Big Giveaways In White House Deal With Big Pharma
By Ryan Grim
The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.

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Israeli commandos in Honduras: :

Israeli commandos in Honduras: :
Yesterday CODEH put out a news release denouncing a variety of things, among them that Micheletti's de facto government has contracted with Israeli commandos or people to train the Honduran military/police forces. What we know from the civil war in Colombia is that these commandos have also been advising the Colombian military forces. What are the Israelis doing here?

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Philip Giraldi Unplugged! Sibel Edmonds & Peter B. Collins, Audio Interview

Philip Giraldi Unplugged!
Sibel Edmonds & Peter B. Collins, Audio Interview
Philip Giraldi discusses the Israel Lobby, Larry Franklin, the recent scandal involving Representative Jane Harman, the continuous erosion of our civil liberties, and much more.

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What Actually Happened in Fatah's Elections? CIA-Trained Security Chiefs Elected to the Palestinian Leadership By Esam AL-Amin

What Actually Happened in Fatah's Elections?
CIA-Trained Security Chiefs Elected to the Palestinian Leadership
By Esam AL-Amin
The U.S. government has been meddling in the Palestinian internal affairs since at least 2003. Its effort is to transform the Palestinian national movement for liberation and independence into a more compliant or quisling government, willing to accede to Israel's political and security demands.

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mario loprete

HTML Message
XI Certamen de Arte Josè Lapayese

Fundación San Roque de Calamocha

20 agosto al 31 de septiembre

El viernes 20 de agosto, a las 8 de la tarde, tendrá lugar la inauguración de la Exposición Itinerante "José Lapayese

Laura Aparicio Serrano, Susana Sancho Beltrán, Tomás Mendoza Arraco , Paco Vila Guillén , Antonio Utrera Quesada , Encarnación Gutierrez Mena , Jaime Lorenz Baeta , Humberto de Jesús Viñas García , Ana Isabel Enguita Gracia , Xavier Puente Vilardell , Mª Luz Valenzuela Marco ,José Azul , Héctor Puértolas Capdevila , Ana Valderrama Pérez, Silvia Sechi Torralba , José Luís Fiol Valero, Xabier de Monsalvatje , Grupo Q-D´Art , Mauricio Vergara , Marisa Elías , Alicia Minguez Peromarta , José de las Muelas Valero ,
Mario Loprete, José Pedro Izquierdo Pérez , Rafael Navarro , Lucía Gómez Serra , Roberto Amador Moscardó , Juergen Hohle , Rochesteve , Jaime Arnau Rodriguez , Carolina Maestro , Mª Pilar Martínez Martínez, José Fermín Marcén Marcén , Victor Solanas Díaz , Mercedes Martí Castelló , José María Pérez Pérez , Juan Carlos Vilar Pérez , Beatriz Bertolín Fuertes , José Ignacio López Díaz , Dolo Torrelles García , Olga Barreda Sánchez , Eduardo Pardos Sánchez , Fernando Clavo Sanz , Francesc H. Piera Francés , Francisco José Celis Alemán , Susana Bernal , Sara Biassu, Xoán Ramón Pena Soto , Tania Abrile

Sala de Expocisiones de Calamocha

Calamocha - Espana
(978 730 573)

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Ultimas noticias Boek861 15 08 09

César Reglero escribió:


Keyla Holmquist nos envia una crónica para el Boek 861 donde nos hace un resumen del
y la multitudinaria muestra de mail art celebrada con motivo de este encuentro

Ver el reportaje en PROYECTOS RECIENTES


Visitamos El Arbol de la Poesia de Tiziana Baracchi y Giancarlo Da Lio, estuvimos en su galeria,
participamos en la Bienal de Venecia, nos hicimos un retrato histórico y nos dieron la medalla de honor de la Ambasciata di Venezia.

Ver el reportaje en PROYECTOS RECIENTES

Un primer reportaje de Cesar Reglero sobre Arte y Trastorno Mental ha sido ilustrado
con las primeras obras recibidas en esta convocatoria (Adjuntamos PDF con las bases)

Ver el reportaje en PROYECTOS RECIENTES


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Manantial de emociones Julie Sassón

Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 20:28:14 -0500
Subject: Manantial de emociones Julie Sassón

Julie Sassón :: Manantial de Emociones (Mailing list information, including unsubscription instructions, is located at the end of this message.)

Se complace en invitarle a la exposición
Manantial de emociones

Julie Sassón


Profundo atardecer
Temple sobre lino
115 x 140 cms.


Inauguración: miércoles 26 de agosto, 19:30 Horas
Clausura: 21 de septiembre

Galería Planta Alta

Catálogo Virtual

Álvaro Obregón 99 Col. Roma. México D.F., 06700
Informes y ventas:
(55) 5525-1332 y (55) 5511-4275 ext 215 y 216

Galería Casa Lamm is pleased to invite you to the opening of the exhibition:
Julie Sassón / Manantial de Emociones
August, Wednesday 26th, to September, Monday 21th, 2009
in Av. Álvaro Obregón 99
Col. Roma, México, D. F.

The following physical address is associated with this mailing list:
Alvaro Obregón 99, México, DF Mailing List Powered by Dada Mail

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Video: Man turns filth on car windows into works of art--Yahoo

• Man turns filth on car windows into works of art

#2-Non-Hegemonic Homophonic Translations- #2 Vol: The Rebus & Artemus Ward et alia's Translating, Bridging, the Gap Between the Sound & Look of Words

Sinker Sucker Socks Pants

Sinker sucker socks pants
Apocryphal awry
Foreign turnkey blank boards
Bagged inner pyre.
Whinny pious orphaned
Door boards bay-gander sink.
Worsen dizzy jelly ditch
Toe setter furry kink?
Door kink worse inner conning horse
Conning otters moaning.
Door coin worse inner panda
Aiding burden honing.
Door mate worse inner gardening
Hankering ardor cloys.
A lung camel blank board
An sniffed offer noise!

H. Chase from ANGUISH LANGUAGE 1956

 Non-Hegemonic Homophonic Translations:
The Rebus & Artemus Ward et alia's Translating, Bridging, the Gap Between the Sound & Look of Words


David Baptiste Chirot
8 August 2009



                           CHAPTER I.--ELIZY.
My story opens in the classic presinks of Bostin.  In the parler
of a bloated aristocratic mansion on Bacon street sits a luvly
young lady, whose hair is cuvered ore with the frosts of between
17 Summers.  She has just sot down to the piany, and is warblin
the popler ballad called "Smells of the Notion," in which she
tells how, with pensiv thought, she wandered by a C beat shore.
The son is settin in its horizon, and its gorjus light pores in a
golden meller flud through the winders, and makes the young lady
twict as beautiful nor what she was before, which is onnecessary . . .
ARTEMUS WARD (continued below)




"Tonight we improvise!--
Luigi Pirandello

In contradistinction to the more 'hegemonic" concepts of homophonic translations in the "Poetics" of the present, this note presents what is not "exactly" homophonic translation  but some examples  "outside"  in their works and conceptions--or at least a lot more fun--("It's fun to have fun if you only know how," as the Cat in the Head says--) than what has become one of the hegemonic, conventionalized forms taught and produced in the "poetics' sphere.

By "hegemonic" homophonic translations in the sphere of "Poetics," i mean those examples found in the "wreading" lists of experiments/and exercises compiled by UPenn Professor Charles Bernstein and, earlier, by Bernadette Meyer. These are used for University and College Classes, Workshops etc  in order to provide a dominant, hegemonic, standardization of "experiments" in "wreading" which will in a sense both "inform" and also "constrain the limits of production" within those strictly outlined by the Buffalo-UPenn Centcom.  Centcom, as it were, as the site(s) for providing such directives to "workers in the field(s) . . .of academia and their related  white collar worlds of Wall Street and War Rooms . . . 'where graduates will Go—and find themselves sitting on Bean Bag Chairs in rooms decorated by those ultra-expensive Jenny Holzer reproductions of Rumsfeld memos . . .  and with DVD players at the ready to play her "Projections" upon the walls as the latest methods are dreamed of for providing movies and classes at "Gitmo' until it is finally all moved off to the torture chambers at Bagram.

Just kidding!--Though the self-referentiality of the Centcom Poetics scene does create a kind of "prison house of Language" from whose barred windows all one is allowed to see are selected sections of approved and narrow views of Poetics Pantheons and Parks . . . But small slices of the heirarchical heavens . . .

If you, dear reader, find that i am being too hard on the strictures of the Poetics view and history of homophonic translation, forgive me, but i think it is better to question "authorities" when learning the extent and histories of any form of writing, for too often one group will try to limit these to only those figures recognized as their own, and so present a false intellectual and poetic history, the better to make their own works seem al the more "original, unique" and "precious." One of the major claims is to make readers think that one's own group has always seemd to have "gotten their first" in producing the "avant" of today, rather than being the watered down remnant of the watermelon rinds of past festivities from long ago, or perhaps even in the recent not so long agos . . . Chuang Tzu noted that the wealthy person is always filled with an ever mounting fear--that his or her dwelling be discovered and robbed, or found to be but an empty front . . .it must be a frightened existence then to continually be forced to hide as much evidence as possible in order to protect one's positions--in al senses of the word . . .and possessions---


This from Professor Bernstein's "Wreading Experiments"


Homophonic translation: Take a poem in a foreign language that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand and translate the sound of the poem into English (e.g., French "blanc" to blank or "toute" to toot). Some examples: Louis and Celia Zukofsky's Catullus., David Melnick's Homer, now available via Eclipse: Men in Aida -- part one and part two; Ron Silliman on homophonic translation (his own, Melnick's, and Chris Tysh's), and two examples by Charles Bernstein -- from Basque and from Portugese. -- Rewrite to suit


(See Appendix 1. below for other types & examples of "translation" from this list )


Note that in many of Bernstein's methods, the use of online "translation machines" is advocated.  This tendency towards a centralization of the methods used, rather than the more idiosyncratic ones improvised, invented by individuals, is one of the hallmarks of Bernstein's "experiments," as well as of the EPC (Electronic Poetry Center, where the "wreading experiments are found) in itself. By centralizing an (the ) "approved, official" methods, versions, authors, journals, links, the EPC is  a continually updated construction of a canon just as hegemonic, homogenized and hierarchical as the "mainstream" "official verse culture' it is purportedly opposed to. 


Note also that the authors cited as exemplars of these methods are almost always members of or allies of, or approved fore runners of, Bernstein's "Language Poetry" Hierarchy, its canons past & present. Here, Professor Bernstein's examples, shown above, include L & C Zukofsky, David Melnick, Chris Tysh, Ron Silliman and his own ubiquitous self.  All of them poets safely inside the EPC CentCom>com Sphere.


Indeed, Ron Silliman has claimed that Louis Zukofsky's Catullus (1969)is the "first" homophonic translation, which is patently absurd as demonstrated by the examples below from H.C. Chase (1940) and James Joyce (1920s-30s).  This claim by Silliman is  further evidence of how tightly wound and bound is the Inner Circle of the Language Cent com;  just as theirs are the only examples cited as being homophonic translations, so also, obviously, must one of theirs be the Founder.  The point is to continually shrink the sphere of reference so that nothing outside the little Language Sphere will ever be mentioned, made reference to, because that mention alone might indicate that there is actually a far wider and far more ancient world of writing out there, even more frightening than the manufactured Monsters of Quietude under the bed which keep awake at night the Security obsessed Language Centcom and students. 


One might even posit that the fear of the School of Quietude is a red herring dangled to distract others from seeing the real cause for alarm: that sloppy and untrue "scholarship" will be found out, and the "infallibility of knowledge and judgment" of the Giants of Centcom will fall and like Humpty Dumpty won't ever be able to be put back together again. It's actually really sad to see such shenanigans employed to protect one's being the Poetic equivalents of Rocky and Bullwinkle's "Mr Know-it-all," multiplied, but there it is—not unlike the Bush –and now the Obama-- Government's using forgeries, smoke and mirrors, known bad or faked information,  and an ignorance of history to propagate that creation of Reality which Karl Rove cheerfully told his bosses about: "We don't change Reality," the Philosopher said to the King and assorted Knights, "we Create Reality."


The self-referentiality of a centralized system and its various "approved allies, cohorts, fore runners" is a sure-fire way of constructing  a Totalized and Totalizing "Inside/Insider" organization which –if need be--edits, alters, colonizes, and waters down to a common EPC denominator  only  those writings, authors and ahistorical examples which "support" and "prove" the solidity and validity of its claims while consistently proclaiming itself to be quite the opposite, that is, a loose association of like minded individuals working towards a common but not too constraining "goal." By constructing this ever growing juggernaut of an Inside Centralized system, the effect is quite the opposite of the proposed "intentions."  The only way that this system can function as a Totalizing Sphere of Influence, then, is to employ various tactics of  omission, erasing, diluting, denying any "Outside," any "other" except for an easily constructed Monolithic Monster to be slain by the knights of the EPC: that Evil Empire which includes The School of Quietude, Mainstream Poetry,  Official Verse Culture etc.


The EPC Centcom and others' methods of attacking these formidable scare crows is to name them without ever quoting or citing them so that via demonstration of their flaws a young poet may be the better convinced of the True Awfulness of these Quiet Ones. The approved, employed method instead I another closed system, in which the addressed are those already converted; "speaking to the choir" in other words is vastly preferable to speaking to the critical intelligence hoping to find out what the differences are between these boats passing in the night.


A further contradiction is the concept of "experimental methods" which are as tightly controlled, selected, anthologized and taught at as many venues as possible, backed up by the heavy artillery of the EPC and UPenn websites and links. "Experimental, transgressive, radical, innovative": all these words have been turned into basically their opposite through an endless repetition of themselves as well as their being employed in "calls" for works which are described by these terms.  In other words, they have become formulaic code words, again speaking to the converted, signaling the need for ever more production of the same "experiments" who are guaranteed as "experimental" because produced by one of the insiders of the Totalized Poetics Sphere. Thus, for "experimental, transgressive, radical, innovative" one may as well translate these as" homogenized hegemonic reactionary revisions of the Formalism of the  New Criticism" or words to that effect.  For, by creating this immense self referential "library and its authors," the only changes allowed have to be signaled by the Hierarchy; otherwise, all one finds is an endless "mirror of production" in which the products reflect the producers as they produce what is theirs only to consume.


 Something that at times concerns me in these examples is that   they are often used to "translate" works from another language that one may not know at all into English that is in a sense a "buffooning" of the original.  This buffoonery participates in the reinforcement of the well known American disregard for learning other languages because, of course, "everybody today knows English anyway."

Rather than participating in the easy Imperialism of making fun of others' languages, why not turn to those examples which have fun and make fun with the translating of American idioms into American homophonic rebuses and the examples of many a humorist in the long American tradition of "goofing" with the gaps between American idioms as they sound and as they are spelled?  And why not turn also to examples of "foreiogn" writers Homophonic Translations and puns within the English language?


Here is an early American rebus know as the Fugio cent,  authorized by the Continental Congress of 1787 and presumably created by Benjamin Franklin.

Continental Currency One Third Dollar 17 Feb 76 Obv

"On 21 April 1787, the Continental Congress authorized a design for an official penny


"The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

"The Fugio cent because of its image of the sun shining down on a sundial with the caption, "Fugio" (Latin

: I flee/fly).

This coin was reportedly designed by Benjamin Franklin, and as a reminder to its holders, he put at its bottom the message, "Mind Your Business". The image and the words form a rebus meaning that time flies, do your work. This design had also been used on the "Continental dollar" (issued as coins of unknown real denomination, and in paper notes of different fractional denominations) in February of 1776.

"Some historians believe that the word "business" was intended literally here, as Franklin was an influential and successful businessman. Given Franklin's history publishing aphorisms, it may have been intended to mean both."

This gap and the humor writings drawing from its deep well is particularly found in the 19th century, before American had in any way been standardized, despite the best efforts of Webster's first dictionaries and the ubiquitous examples found in the popular Primers used in the haphazard American educational system of the times. 
(Recall here the famous national imagery of"artists' conceptions" portraying the young Abe Lincoln doing his homework on a clearing made in the dust and ashes of a shovel, using a lump of fresh fire-made charcoal as his stylus.)

In the early 20th Century, the gap between American sounds and spellings shifted to being that between the new immigrant's hearing, pronunciation and spelling of an American as yet barely known to them.  These newly arrived Champollion's are indelibly portrayed by the Marx Brothers and many lexical humorists such as the great Leo C. Rosten with his classic  "Mr. Kaplan" stories. This form of homophonic translation was especially popular on a grand scale between the 2 World Wars and in the decade following the 2nd, when a new wave of refugees from Europe arrived. .  To some extent, is still exists today, though for many reasons, it's now more often than not regarded as offensive rather than humorous. (By today's standards, many of the examples such as Mr. Kaplan might be found offensive by some.  Here for example, from an online piece re Mr. Kaplan:


Our two most famous "Prazidents" he listed as "Abram Lincohen" and "Judge Vashington." The principal parts of the verb "to fail" he gives as "fail, failed, bankropt"; those of "to die" as "die, dead, funeral." The opposite of "new" is "second hand," and the comparative degrees of "bad" are "bad," "worse," and "rotten." His wife, he says, suffers from "high blood pleasure." One of Kaplan's sentences in a business letter to an uncle reads, "If your eye falls on a bargain please pick it up"; and when a classmate presumes to ridicule the sentence, Mr. Kaplan's triumphant rejoinder is "Mine oncle has a gless eye." When in a burst of eloquence Kaplan uses a "beauriful" word (the word is "megnificent"), an admiring Mr. Bloom asks him after class, "How you fond soch a woid"? "By dip tinking," answers Mr. Kaplan, striding out like a hero.

From hyman kaplan revisited by Louis Hasley


The possibilities of humor inherent in Homophonic Translations, as well giving words a much wider range of meaning than their "original senses" are found in the  examples here  from two of the great word players of the 20th Century, in which the English language is treated as—what it is-- a foreign language for these writers, even though for Joyce and some of the OULIPO members, and for Professor Chace and his example below,   it also their "native language.  This making foreign the familiar is not the same as the method of "estrangement" developed by the Russian Formalists; it is instead a way of releasing a ludic element in which the words are laughing at themselves, hooting at their multiple layered puns and badly spelled English, "Language of the Empire" upon which the sun never sets.  To find this language laughing at itself in its own "debased" or "far more complex" forms is a method also of laughing at Empire itself, with al its ludicrous attempts to Anglicize the world with English, the International Language, hard enough for its own speakers to spell and pronounce, and so leaving it up to the American Imperialists to  push ahead with the task. .


These examples are from the "Games" section of the "Is it a Book? Site:

"Homophonic translation means translating not the sense but the sounds from one language to another, or even within the same language. The Oulipo group play this game as well. Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, a small book put out by Swamp Press in Massachusetts, contains text which looks like nonsense, but when read aloud, sounds very familiar:
        "Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift
        wetter murder inner ladle cordage, honor itch offer
        lodge, dock florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry
        putty ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, an fur
        disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut."
(The text for Ladle Rat Rotten Hut is taken from a longer work called The comic looking-glass, by H. Chase written and published in 1940.)
"James Joyce used homophonic translation to transform languages and fragments of languages, and to create his own brand of English from ordinary English: "Are we speachin d'anglas landadge or are you sprakin sea Djoytsch?" This madness has method in it. By using words that are between one thing and another Joyce can make them mean two things at once, achieving the simultaneity we spoke of on our Literature page. For example, the phrase: "they were yung and easily freudened" means 'young and easily frightened,' but it also carries inescapable overtones of psychoanalysis. "Great Shapesphere" means 'Shakespeare' but also 'the creator of the world' (and of the Globe!).

[picture of a rebus letter from Lewis Carroll]"Something similar is achieved by writing using drawings of objects. The objects' names, said aloud, reveal the word intended. In this rebus letter by Lewis Carroll we see a picture of a deer and we understand that Carroll means dear, but some flavor of the picture clings to the word, giving it an extra dimension of meaning. "



















"Homophonic translation" is  at the core of a lot of the humor writing in 19th Century America, especially since the "American language of the time, despite the  first Webster's Dictionaries, " had not yet settled down and become "fixed"  in its spellings, grammar, usages, meanings,(it still hasn't to some degree). In other words, it hadn't yet "grown up" and started making rules which grammarians and others liked to break, and so essay "writing badly as a mocking of the "ignorant underclasses, the great unwashed, the Jacksonian morons."

Interestingly, the state of the American language of the time is not that different from that of the Russian language in the early 20th century, in the indeterminacy of spellings and sounds.  As Gerald Janecek has written so beautifully of it in the Introduction to his The Look of Russian Literature, the period 1905-17--between the failed Revolution of 05 and the successful one of 1917--was marked by intense debates over the need for a standardization of a Russian becoming ever more confusing and uncontrolled in that a great many letters existed for which there were no longer any sound, and also many new sounds fro which no letter existed.  As Janecek demonstrates, this confusion played a part in the rise of Russian Futurism and its approaches to language in whcih the poetry of Zaum is created.  Za meaning "beyond" and in another sense, "bridge" also,  and Um" meaning rationality: thus Zaum : 'transrational language," or, in another sense, a "translation" or "bridging" of a gap between the visual and sonic possibilities of the written letters of the Russian language in its state of flux and tension.

The American tongue  of the 19th century like the Russian half century later, was also an example of a tongue and writing  still  wildly fluctuating in its letters and sounds amid the wildernesses of its own vast, confused tracts--literal and figurative--of both land and language..  Often newspapers, wanted posters, advertisements, commentaries and maps as well as  ideas and idiomatic phrases are" translated" from a "standardized" version  into something completely "wrong" but whcih  to the persons participating seems "perfectly clear,"  seems perfectly in order, perfectly  "all correct."---and is so well liked it is taken in and "made to home" and handed a big cool jug of dandelion wine--and "starts to take root in the hearts of the people" and next thing you know has become a truly recognizably American word--

 The apocryphal tale of "all correct" for example tells how this phrase was turned into "ok" by President Jackson; It is said that in signing documents that met with his approval, the hard fightin, hard drinkin. rough edged Democrat War Hero  of a President  would sign in large letters --underlined with a flourish  to be sure!--the letters/word "OK"--which to his mind was the abbreviation of "all correct"-which he knew as -"Ol Kur-ect"


(Note: see below for various other theories equally apocraphyl—or not—and the one that The Straight Dope

 claims is the True Origin of the expression.)

Ironically, one might say that this "illiterate" translation of President Jackson's is far more creative and interesting than the "wreading" experiments' translations of foreign language, in which ignorance of them produces "nothing new" in either American nor in the original language.  That is, no new word is produced that both makes sense and has a uniquely American "flavor," so American in a sense that it has become a kind of shorthand –"OK" for example--for presenting a word/image which is recognizable to foreign language speakers as well as Americans. 

The truly "poetic'" Homophonic Translator then is not the "wreading" "experimental" primarily academic poet essaying to be at once "clever" and "ignorant'" in a sense, but the illiterate Frontier President making it "official" that the American language in a sense is continually making Homophonic Translations of itself and thus creating new words, terms, allusions, signs and a Visual Poetry of a "Lettriste" from . . ."OK"--!
"The OK Corral" . . .


Charles Farrar Browne, (April 26, 1834 – March 6, 1867). The "e" ending" Browne" was added when Brown/Ward became famous.

Artemus Ward was the past master of this form of Homophonic Translation Humor--as was Mark Twain----the translation usually involving the vast differences, as with President Jackson, between the spoken and the written word in terms of shape pronunciation meaning and sounds. Ward was a great influence on Twain and also the favorite humorist of president Lincoln, who read a Ward story as preparation before presenting thee Emacipation to his Cabinet.

In one of Ward's stories for example two boys are discussing with a third something really amazing that they have read about, in a big grimy book with a title like "This Savage Whirled" --the discovery being no less than an immense snake of the Amazon itself a river twisting like a snake and so immense- and exotic--and this exotic snake -a creature of the jungles more vast than any  in America as far as they know-- is called by the local inhabitants or at least the supposedly lost scientist adventurer--is called by the mysterious name of  a "Boy Constructor"

The third member of the party is puzzling over how snake could be at the same time a boy who is constructing something--a raft no doubt-- to escape from the snake
but----confused he asks to see the actual book with the magical name for the exotic immense snake--
and he reads out loud the words:  "boa constrictor"
of course the adherents of the boy constructor translation are laughing at the down right ridiculousness of such a name for such a grand snake as "boa constrictor"--

while the third boy is hopping mad and in rare Rumpelstiltskin form--pogoing like a deranged punk rocker on the Savage Whirled book and tearing it and pounding it to pieces—


Here is the first chapter in a story by Ward "straight  from the horse's mouth":


                           CHAPTER I.--ELIZY.
My story opens in the classic presinks of Bostin.  In the parler
of a bloated aristocratic mansion on Bacon street sits a luvly
young lady, whose hair is cuvered ore with the frosts of between
17 Summers.  She has just sot down to the piany, and is warblin
the popler ballad called "Smells of the Notion," in which she
tells how, with pensiv thought, she wandered by a C beat shore.
The son is settin in its horizon, and its gorjus light pores in a
golden meller flud through the winders, and makes the young lady
twict as beautiful nor what she was before, which is onnecessary.
She is magnificently dressed up in a Berage basque, with poplin
trimmins, More Antique, Ball Morals and 3 ply carpeting.  Also,
considerable gauze.  Her dress contains 16 flounders and her
shoes is red morocker, with gold spangles onto them.  Presently
she jumps up with a wild snort, and pressin her hands to her
brow, she exclaims:  "Methinks I see a voice!"
A noble youth of 27 summers enters.  He is attired in a red shirt
and black trowsis, which last air turned up over his boots; his
hat, which it is a plug, being cockt onto one side of his
classical hed.  In sooth, he was a heroic lookin person, with a
fine shape.  Grease, in its barmiest days, near projuced a more
hefty cavileer.  Gazin upon him admiringly for a spell, Elizy
(for that was her name) organized herself into a tabloo, and
stated as follers.
"Ha! do me eyes deceive me earsight?  Is it some dreams?  No, I
reckon not! That frame! them store close! those nose!  Yes, it is
me own, me only Moses!"
He (Moses) folded her to his hart, with the remark that he was "a
hunkey boy."

19th Century "Escort Cards"

another form of translation is also based on things popular in the 19th century in America, being the democratization of what had been primarily a language game of the elites in 19th Century Russia and France

and became large parts of the 20th Century Avant-Gardes of those two countries:


Alexei Kruchonykh, "The Whistle of a Locomotive Going Uphill"1917

Alexei Kruchonykh, Zaum Poem 1917 from Learn, Arters

From ZAUM the Transrational Poerty of Russian Futurism by Gerald Janecek

Paris, 1950; ultra-rare, unavailable except for a few pages until 2006

This is the rebus madness that swept the country and was later seized upon by the French Lettriste painter/sound/poet named Gabriel ("l"Ange Gabriel") Pomerand as the method for making of his underground ultra classic and until recently very hard to find book called in English "Saint Ghetto of the Loans."

Homage to "Rebus Alley"
Homage Gabriel Pomerand
—David Baptiste Chirot

On the left  hand side of the book i are the pages with the poet's Prose Poetry about the beloved area of Saint-Germaine des Pres where he often performed Sound and Lettriste Poetry  in the chicest of chic cafes for the likes of de Beauvoir and Sartre, Boris Vian, Cocteau and al the rest of  St Germain'
s In Crowd--

On the facing, right hand side of the book are the extremely complex and beautiful rebuses  for each at times letter, syllable, word or tiny contraction of two words-that appear in the Prose Poem   .—

The rebus then functions directly as for the most part homophonic translations of the lexical prose poetry into the visual--
(in some ways this process reminds me a bit of playing charades--"Sounds Like" (tugging the ear and then making faces and gestures people think mean something like-- . "i'm deaf and i can't speak either" or "there is a white elephant in the room"---etc etc


And also functions as those translation which demonstrate the  SOME TIMES ALTOGETHER UNNECESSARINESS OF WORDS



I know these are not directly the recognized standard "homophonic translations" which are very common and usually very easy ones to do --

you can even find them in those games and puzzles books for kids and if you are really lucky maybe someday inside a Crackerjack box!

 Homophonic translations are often used as a writing exercise in various writing workshops in not only the "wreading" examples, but many others--

so i wd think just search of the words "homophonic translations would lead to some excellent and surprising sources!

meanwhile i shall return to my Artemus Ward fragments and making rebuses for the spirit that

tires of words and craves images--

all very best for your search
but a goggle one shd unearth tons of things--



Wreading Experiments
This list is adapted from the "Experiments" list. I have selected a set of interactive writing exercises that extend the reading/listening to the poems. It advocates an active practice of "deformative criticism".
1. Homolinguistic translation: Take a poem and translate it "English to English" by substituting word for word, phrase for phrase, line for line, or "free" translation as response to each phrase or sentence. Or translate the poem into another literary style or a different diction, for example into a slang or vernacular. Do several differnt types of homolinguistic translations of a single source poem. Homolinguistic translation: Take a poem (someone else's, then your own) and translate it "English to English" by substituting word for word, phrase for phrase, line for line, or "free" translation as response to each phrase or sentence. Or translate the poem into another literary style or a different diction, for example into a slang or vernacular. Do several differnt types of homolinguistic transation of a single source poem. Chaining: try this with a group, sending the poem on for "translation" from person to another until you get back to the first author.
§ David Nemeth's chain
§ bpNichol, Translating Translating Apollinaire
§ Robert Kelly's Celan
§ "Me Tranform O!"
§ from Basque
§ "Nuclear Blanks"
§ Sane as Tugged Vat, Your Love.
2. Homophonic translation: Take a poem in a foreign language that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand and translate the sound of the poem into English (e.g., French "blanc" to blank or "toute" to toot). Some examples: Louis and Celia Zukofsky's Catullus., David Melnick's Homer, now available via Eclipse: Men in Aida -- part one and part two; Ron Silliman on homophonic translation (his own, Melnick's, and Chris Tysh's), and two examples by Charles Bernstein -- from Basque and from Portugese. -- Rewrite to suit?
3.Lexical translation:  Take a poem in a foreign language that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand and translate it word for word with the help of a bilingual dictionary.  (Rewrite to suit?) "Language Is a Virus" provides a translation engine.
4. Try a variant of these three translation exercises using the "Lost in Translation" "Babel" engine, or other web-based translations engines, such as Babelfish, Free, and Logopoeia's Shortwave Radio Engine.

APPENDIX 2:  The Origins of OK

what does "OK" stand for, and where does the expression come from? I've heard a lot of different explanations over the years.

— Norm, Chicago

Dear Norm:

Yeah, and it's about time I got things cleared up. Despite the fact that the origin of OK was conclusively established 30 years ago, few etymological dictionaries, even recent ones, give it accurately. On the contrary, some persist in giving equal time to explanations that have been discredited for decades.

Eric Partridge, in Origins (1983), says OK derives from the OK Club, which supported Martin "Old Kinderhook" Van Buren in 1840. That isn't wrong, but it's only half the story.

William and Mary Morris, in the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1977), mention the OK Club and give several other theories as well, including the off-the-wall idea that OK comes from "Aux Cayes," a port in Haiti noted for its rum. They imply the matter is still shrouded in mystery.

Baloney. The etymology of OK was masterfully explained by the distinguished Columbia University professor Allen Walker Read in a series of articles in the journal American Speech in 1963 and 1964.

The letters, not to keep you guessing, stand for "oll korrect." They're the result of a fad for comical abbreviations that flourished in the late 1830s and 1840s.

Read buttressed his arguments with hundreds of citations from newspapers and other documents of the period. As far as I know his work has never been successfully challenged.

The abbreviation fad began in Boston in the summer of 1838 and spread to New York and New Orleans in 1839. The Boston newspapers began referring satirically to the local swells as OFM, "our first men," and used expressions like NG, "no go," GT, "gone to Texas," and SP, "small potatoes."

Many of the abbreviated expressions were exaggerated misspellings, a stock in trade of the humorists of the day. One predecessor of OK was OW, "oll wright," and there was also KY, "know yuse," KG, "know go," and NS, "nuff said."

Most of these acronyms enjoyed only a brief popularity. But OK was an exception, no doubt because it came in so handy. It first found its way into print in Boston in March of 1839 and soon became widespread among the hipper element.

It didn't really enter the language at large, however, until 1840. That's when Democratic supporters of Martin Van Buren adopted it as the name of their political club, giving OK a double meaning. ("Old Kinderhook" was a native of Kinderhook, New York.)

OK became the warcry of Tammany hooligans in New York while beating up their opponents. It was mentioned in newspaper stories around the country.

Van Buren's opponents tried to turn the phrase against him, saying that it had originated with Van Buren's allegedly illiterate predecessor, Andrew Jackson, a story that has survived to this day. They also devoted considerable energy to coming up with unflattering interpretations, e.g., "Out of Kash, Out of Kredit, and Out of Klothes."

Newspaper editors and publicists around the country delighted in coming up with even sillier interpretations-- Oll Killed, Orfully Konfused, Often Kontradicts, etc.--so that by the time the campaign was over the expression had taken firm root nationwide.

As time went on, though, people forgot about the abbreviation fad and Old Kinderhook and began manufacturing their own etymologies. Here's a sampling:

(1) It's a derivative of the Choctaw Indian affirmative "okeh." Andrew Jackson, who figures in many stories about OK, is said to have introduced the word to the white man.

(2) Another Jackson story has it that he used to mark OK for "oll korrect" on court documents. In the one example of this that was actually unearthed, however, the OK was found actually to be OR, for "order recorded," a common courthouse abbreviation.

(3) It was a telegraphic signal meaning "open key," that is, ready to receive. Others say OK was used for "all right" because A and R had already been appropriated for other purposes. Big problem with this theory: the first telegraph message was transmitted in 1844, five years after OK appeared.

(4) It stands for O. Kendall & Sons, a supplier of army biscuits that stamped its initials on its product.

(5) It comes from Aux Cayes, already discussed. A variant is that it comes from the French au quai, "to the dock," said of cotton that had been approved for loading on a ship.

(6) It stands for Obediah Kelly, a railroad freight agent, who used to mark his initials on documents to indicate all was in order.

(7) It comes from the Greek Olla Kalla, "all good."

(8) A German general who fought on the side of the Americans in the Revolutionary War used to sign documents OK for Ober-Kommando.

There are dozens of other interpretations, all equally knuckleheaded. Pay them no mind. If Professor Read says OK = oll korrect, that's good enough for me.

Cecil Adams


--- On Thu, 8/6/09, judith goldman <goldman.judith@GMAIL.COM> wrote:

From: judith goldman <goldman.judith@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Critical works on homophonic translation?
Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009, 2:59 PM

Hello all,
I'm looking for critical works on homophonic translation--also, trying to
build a list of homophonic translations.

Many thanks for any information you can offer!

Judith Goldman


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