Tag Archives: Turkey

Oh, Say Can You See?


The Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey

My title refers to your sense of vision, your sight. It also could be a reference to understanding, insight.

I just came across a reference to a scholarly article in which the author “sites” examples in a novel. Site means location: Ephesus is a major archeological site in Turkey.

And then there is cite, which is what the author of the scholarly article meant to write; to cite is to mention particular items or people that bolster an argument. The author of Howard’s End, E.M. Forster, cites many examples of the rapidly changing mores in early 20th century England.

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The Whistled Language of Northern Turkey


I read a fascinating article in the August 17 edition of The New Yorker, about the small village of Kusköy, in Northern Turkey, where many inhabitants converse by whistling. Because the area is mountainous and in a dense forest, a whistle carries much farther than a shout.

Whistled languages have been known for centuries (not to me, however): Herodotus wrote of an Ethiopian “bat language” and another whistled language has been known in the Canary Islands (how appropriate) for over 600 years. They are also found in the Brazilian Amazon, in Northern Laos and in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

All whistled languages are based on spoken languages, with sounds made with the tongue, teeth and fingers. I am unable to provide a link to the article, but you should be able to find it at http://www.newyorker.com.(August 17, 2015) Three examples of the whistled language are given. All three sound pretty much the same to me, but apparently it works well in Kusköy, although the author notes that the bird language in this tiny village is not as prevalent as it once was. Because of nosy neighbors, residents are finding more privacy by texting.


Filed under All things having to do with the English language

Example of an Oxymoron

I took this photo last week in Rhodes, Greece.  I love to visit supermarkets in other countries, looking for new and unusual products.  I discovered that a sign saying “Supermarket” in Turkey and Greece most often means a very small market, usually no larger than a typical American bedroom.  This sign, at least, is accurate in that the owners may think their business is super, but they realize it is mini.





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