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#7460 - 10/08/00 10:32 PM Ambigrams
Wordsmith Offline

member

Registered: 03/12/00
Posts: 121
Ambigrams are words that can be read from more than one point of view.
I have been creating ambigrams as visual meditations on language--as
commercial graphics and as fine art pieces--for almost thirty years.
Anu has invited me to share my unique point of view on language with
his A.Word.A.Day audience. I certainly appreciate this opportunity. I
hope you will enjoy looking at words in this new way and find it both
entertaining and thought-provoking.

Each day this week, your AWAD regular mail will consist of an ambigram, a
paragraph or so about a particular word, exploring some unorthodox points
of view regarding its meaning. As it really makes more sense to view the
ambigram first, and in a format that allows you to invert it, I suggest
that you print it out, so you can enjoy its symmetry and reversibility
before and while you read. -John Langdon (langdojw@drexel.edu)

(This week's Guest Wordsmith, John Langdon, teaches in the College of
Design Arts at Drexel University in Philadelphia. For more information
on ambigrams visit his Website: http://www.coda.drexel.edu/wordplay.)


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#7461 - 10/12/00 10:09 AM Re: Ambigrams
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2888
Today's ambigram on Gravity reminded me of a bumper sticker I once saw....

There is no such thing as gravity; the earth sucks.




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#7462 - 10/13/00 06:28 AM Re: gravity
paulb Offline
addict

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
<The opposite of gravity is weightlessness. A fair
conclusion: Gravity is the soul of wt.>

eigh?



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#7463 - 10/16/00 01:22 PM Re: gravity
Jackie Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
The opposite of gravity is weightlessness

I'm not sure about that. Gravity is a pulling-toward, an
attract-ive force. Wouldn't the opposite then be a pushing-away, a repellent force? But oh, dear, she said, suddenly
feeling like Alice --what then is the opposite of weightlessness?

Psst--I think the soul of wit is U. Or are you the sole
wit? Oh no, I'm fishing again! Wrong thread!


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#7464 - 10/16/00 04:14 PM Re: gravity
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
The opposite of gravity is weightlessness

I've always liked the way "gravity" has the meaning of weight, the scientific definition, the force pulling two "massive" (an interesting word in itself!) objects together, as well as that of importance, seriousness. We often hear the expression "the gravity of the situation". Do we constantly wander around appreciating the gravity of our situation? Paradoxically, the gravity of our situation would increase enormously if we drifted off into space! Did Newton appreciate the gravity of his situation when an apple fell on his head? Dangerous things, them apples.

Levity means lightness, as in frivolity, flippancy - we see a few examples on this board - and is an antonym for the "seriousness" definition of gravity. I don't know that levity is ever used to express the concept of lightness as in lack of weight, though, is it?


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#7465 - 10/16/00 05:53 PM Re: gravity
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
Hopefully I'm not sounding to scientific, but Newton said "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." In physics terminology the opposite of gravity is the Normal force. An object is pushing down on the earth due to gravity and the earth has to push back up on the object.


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#7466 - 10/17/00 05:58 AM Re: gravity
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
I don't know that levity is ever used to express the concept of lightness as in lack of weight, though, is it?

Levitation, I assume, comes from the same root?




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#7467 - 10/17/00 09:07 AM Re: gravity
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
comes from the same root?

Well, it rises from the same underused root...


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#7468 - 10/17/00 09:48 AM Re: gravity
xara Offline
member

Registered: 10/09/00
Posts: 197
Loc: cary, nc, usa
Hopefully I'm not sounding to scientific

What's wrong with sounding seientific?


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#7469 - 10/17/00 01:00 PM Re: gravity
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
What's wrong with sounding seientific?

Quite right, xara. What’s more, there is a beautiful synchronicity between the arts and science in reality, though we commonly draw them as two poles at this point in our history. They are not thesis and antithesis at all – they both spring from the same creative mainspring of the human spirit.

I like Popper’s analysis of the precognitive leap of imagination prior to the opening of any new theoretical front – or as William Blake said:

What is now proved was once only imagined.

A flash of imagination in the face of the mysterious is surely the precursor of all creative human experience. This understanding has been shared not only by artists but also by leading scientists:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. …The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

– Albert Einstein

As humans we are never unipotent! (, tsuwm)


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