Month: November 2015

The sense of self part 2: Controlling our own image 

1. Autobiography

Many celebrities and famous people use autobiographies to describe chapters of their lives, or reasons behind making a work. Some writers write autobiographical novels to document their lives. Instead of being left to the hands of a historian or journalist, we are in control of own stories and decide which parts are included and omitted.

3. Selfies

Perhaps one of the most divided, controversial topics is the advent of the selfie. Kim Kardashian published a book devoted to her selfies, and they are all over social media. Instead of a professional prom photo shoot, we have selfies taken by the school leavers at their party. Consider it, the artist’s painting of him or herself, only perhaps less professionally.

3. Instagram

Instagram is for the artsy, creative types. Entrepreneurs, bloggers, fashion addicts or those who just live their smartphones. It’s also great for those who have a particular interest, such as drawing, landscapes, food, animals, buildings or even fashion. Instagram is someone’s life in pictures; a collage of moments captured in a square frame. If one were to make a visual portfolio of their life, instagram might be the way to do it.

4. YouTube

Where everyone has their own channel in hopes of being internet famous. Some people gain fame by singing, dancing or videoing their pet. Others either do tutorials, or just providing a funny commentary on something. If nothing else, you comment on a video to be noticed. Vloggers on YouTube are on a par with having their own TV show, with their own channel that people subscribe to.

5. Facebook

Facebook is like having a personal newspaper; posts are main headlines, the commenters are the readers, life events show a timeline, and recent activity is the paparazzi. Not quite as extreme as having your own TV show, Facebook thrives off achievements – whether that’s having a baby, publishing a book, graduating, attending prom or even featuring in the news. Most ‘news’ on facebook is meant to be fairly official.
6. Twitter

Ever had a diary at age 13? Imagine that diary being published, two sentences at a time. Twitter is much more informal than Facebook, so sharing funny links, thinking aloud, or just being goofy, is generally more “accepted”. Instead of advertising you as “the best”, Twitter instead brands your personality.

7. Snapchat

The only place where one can get away with just about anything, thanks to the self-destruct feature. Snapchat is similar to instagram, in that it captures moments in pictures. However, pictures have to be taken from inside the camera app. Whereas other social media sites allow the upload of other images, such as sources from the internet. Usually conveyed to illustrate funny or quirky  moments in “what I’m doing”.


Foreign phrases we need to adopt 

Ever needed a word or phrase to sum up something, but find that it doesn’t exist? There are certain “untranslatable” words whose meaning cannot describe their experiences in English. There are some very clever ones from different languages, that seem to sum up nicely what we’re missing. Instead of findingg an English equivalent, here are the original words p:

1. Ti voglio Bueno (Italian) 

Ever wanted to say “I love you as a friend” without the awkward need? This is the platonic form of “I love you”. It translates roughly to “I wish you well”, and is said to family, relatives, friends and possibly colleagues. I’m sure  

2. Bakkushan (Japanese) 

A woman who is attractive when viewed from behind. Similar to a butter face, the bakkushab is a common stereotype placed on women. As a common trope in Film and TV, Bakkushans tend to have am amazing body , but terrible face. That’s why it seems to hard to believe Ms. Vellum from the PowerPuff Girls was actually beautiful, since the audience ever saw her face. 

3. Nunchi (Korean) 

Someone who avoids being punched in the face. Kind of like a passive pacifist. In Korean philosophy, it means to listen to others and gauge their moods. So it’s essentially to avoid being an insensitive prick. 

4. Fura-fura (japanese) 

The onomatopoeia of girls’ skirts ruffling (yes, really). The Japanese have some unusual phonetd sounds for things . Just resist the urge to actually say it (especially if you’re not Asian). 

5. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan) 

A shared, common desire two people have but neither will act on it. Like the two who fancy each other, but neither will make the first move. My best friend is rather like that at times. 

6. Greng-jai (Thai)

When you don’t want to ask someone a favour because you think it will inconvenience them. This is especially prominent with certain people e.g. Man in a wheelchair, woman with a crying baby, “overworked” teacher marking hundreds of essays. 

7. L’esprit de l’escalier (French) 

When you think of the perfect comeback to an argument too late. Afterwit is the closest word to translating  this, only this can sometimes mean a lack of forethought. An English slang equivalent is “staircase wit”. 

8. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)

When you keep looking at your watch/ checking your phone/ looking outside the window to see if someone is coming. It’s a feeling of anticipation, anxious to see someone. 

9. Luftmensch (Yiddish)

The academic, artists or writer who is romantic and dreamy. The term roughly means “air person”, so people are have their head in the clouds and do not focus on practical matters like earning money.