• Monthly Archives: February 2022

A New Article by Y-H-B

February 25, 2022

Readers of this blog can now examine the newest article by Y-H-B, ““Language as Semiosis: A Neo-Structuralist Perspective in the Light of Pragmaticism,” Chinese Semiotic Studies, 18 (2022), 131-146. It can be accessed by clicking on the link “PDFs of Papers by Michael Shapiro” under the title “Semiosis.” Cf. also the comment  (in a recent email to the author) by Vincent Colapietro, one of the world’s leading Peirce scholars (and a friend of long-standing), to wit: This is a very important essay, a distillation of years of intensely focused thought, but more than this a deepening of some of your most important insights into the nature of language and, more generally, of symbols. In sum, bravo!”


The Emotive Value of Yiddish

February 20, 2022

As has been characterized several times on this blog, Yiddish words and phrases as used in (American) English have a distinct role to play in uttertances with an emotive tinge. This aspect of lexicology and phraseology was brought to the fore of Y-H-B’s consciousness recently when he remembered that as an octogenarian he was approaching the status of an “alter kaker,” alias an “old geezer.” The difference between these two phrases is purely emotive to those speakers of American English who know both, and the nub of the difference is in the word kaker, which literally means ‘shit(-ter)’. The presence of the Yiddish profane verb root gives the phrase a pointedness that the translation lacks. Sic transit gloria mundi!


ADDENDUM: A better English equivalent for the Yiddish would be “old fart.”

Proposing a Neologism (= new word): Covidaceous

February 9, 2022

Even though the word ‘covid’ is a dephrasal abbreviation (< ‘coronovirus disease’), an appropriate derived adjective can and should be proposed, viz. ‘covidaceous’, on the model of arenaceous ‘resembling, made of, or containing sand or sandy particles’.
I hereby launch covidaceous for general use.