30 July 2012

Rambling about a prefix: dis-

I’m a bit of a word geek. I have been known to read the dictionary, and books on grammar, and visit the online etymology dictionary just for fun. That may make me a logophile, but I draw the line at logophilia. I also dig calligraphy. I mean, check some of this out:

Alright, well, the point of today’s post, if there is a point (which I’m beginning to doubt), is to look at one of my favourite prefixes: dis-. Although it changes the root word to its opposite, ascribing a sense of apartness (dishonest), there is a connection that I feel is intuitive (i.e. I haven’t found it substantiated in any reference on the subject). It can denote a negative meaning to the root, but it feels to me that it imparts a sense of corruption or degeneration.

ease becomes disease. It is not a simple opposition, like up and down, it is something more sinister, like right and left.

In Dante’s Inferno, Dis is the name of the city in Hell that encompasses the 6th through 9th circles, which is to say, the most serious transgressions. Despite that he wrote in the Italian of his day and region, I’m looking at the flavour of these words in English (which was only really distinguishing itself in Dante’s time).

The Romans were known to call Pluto, their god of the underworld, by the title Dis Pater, which is Father Dis. (see American Plutocracy).

So dis- takes on a hellish meaning (at least to me).

Here’s a sampling of words to show you what I mean:

  • disable, disability
  • disadvantage
  • disbelieve
  • discharge
  • disembowel
  • disgrace
  • disorder

We could have used un- as a prefix (except that its of Germanic origin, but at this point, it’s all the same in English). Look at the difference between disease and unease, disable and unable, disbeliever and unbeliever.

The city of Dis contains sinners guilty of first degree crimes (premeditated, and requiring action on their part, as opposed to spontaneous or passive crimes). In a sense, the above examples (given that I have only a smattering of them) show a sinister or far more negative meaning associated with dis- than un-, and in some cases, the difference is one of intent. A disbeliever refuses to believe. An unbeliever may be persuaded.

A distressing display.

What is most telling about this underlying significance is the use of the prefix as a word, a word which serves to substitute for the word disrespect used as a verb. Don’t dis me. Although this usage has fallen out of vogue, it was widely used for a while around the turn of the millennium. In fact, a dis was sufficient grounds for retaliation, fisticuffs, dislocated shoulders and all.

I think if there were a verb that most closely defines “dis,” it would be dismiss. Like blowing someone off completely and utterly. A short form of the equally insulting “whatever.” Either way, disaffecting.

I don’t really have a point, just riffing on this thing. I’m going to be out of town for a few days, and wanted to take care to make sure I had a few posts lined up for my absence.


144 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Winter Solstice 2012 – Re: birth, newel, volution

7 November 2006

Mayans and McKennas agree, it’s the Day to Be.

The Zero Day – Winter Solstice December 2012 C.E.

The end of the Mayan 13 Baktuns of the Great Cycle (~5, 200 Years) falls on the Winter Solstice 2012 C.E.

Terence and Dennis McKenna‘s limit, as derived from the I Ching, towards which we progress with an accelerating pace of novelty, falls on December 21 2012 – they had calculated this prior to having heard of the equivalent Mayan Date.

I Ching Hexagram 49 – Ko – Revolution
The superior person sets the calendar in order and makes the seasons clear.

The Day, disputed between December 20th to 23rd depending on the particulars of the given re-ckonings of the Mayan Calendar, has gained more attention, as it creeps into popular culture from the shadows. Presumably, the Winter Solstice would best re-solve any disputes, and may prove a superior point of re-ference for re-ckonings.

The Synaptic Re-form Calendar has a novel notion to ease the transition from our Gregorian shackles of broken re-petition: a Day unlike any other (other than how days all somewhat re-semble one another, else, how could a word such as Day be applied to them?)

It re-mains Day 0 from any linear count of days, whether projective or proleptic.

The Abysmal Day has a familiar and appropriate ring to it.

then followed by the New Year’s Day (December 22nd)
then followed by the 1st day of the Year (December 23rd)

this means that the very first Year of the Synaptic Re-form Calendar is a leap year. The Abysmal Day is the first of the series of Leap Year Days.

Most importantly, it means that there will be a smooth and uninterrupted progression in Weekdays. 2012 C.E. December 23rd falls on a Sunday, which is also the 1st Day of the Synaptic Re-form Calendar’s Year.

As most of the World’s citizens observe a 7-Day Week, observing the Days by naming them after the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, such a seamless transferral appears to facilitate widespread adoption and adaptation.

Verbal Extract

18 July 2006

Weirding Ways.

full size image

sympathetic ears on:
George Orwell – On Politics and the English Language
Robert Anton Wilson – Essay on English-Prime

Seeing is Believing.

4 July 2006

Pupils in the eye of the beholder.Pupil:

centre of the eye

from girl (pupa) & little girl doll (pupilla)

the word Pupil refers to both the opening at the centre of the eye, and the homunculus, the reflection of the self in an exterior form.

and the connection between seeing and believing.

“I see.” as a statement of understanding.

Clear. also a statement of understanding.

Illuminate. to make understood.

Ellucidate. to clarify, to make understood.

Brilliant. descriptive of feats of intellect.

Supervisor. one who watches from above. (also Overseer).

If you close your eyes, what do you learn?

re-lapse re-visited

22 June 2006

the lapselanders have landed

The lapse or fall (see here), comprises the fall out of the womb as represented by notions of Heaven (the fall of the Rebel Angels), and Eden (the garden of eden equates the womb).

So, as we fall out of the timeless amniosis of the womb, we fall into our body, fully with the cut umbilicus, and we fall into time. 

subjective objection or objective subjection

17 June 2006

Once the bounds of language no longer contain the nature of an idea, notion, thought, feeling, immaterial concept, cognition, sentience, then the definitions need revisiting, and rewording.

(subjectability, subjectable, subjectedly, subjectedness, subjectless, subjectlike, subjectify, subjection, subjectivism, )

a basic matter of thought, discussion, investigation
branch of knowledge, particularly to study
motive, cause, ground
theme of sermon, book, story
in music, the principal melodic motive or phrase, particularly in fugues
item, scene, incident chosen for artistic rendition and representation
one under dominion or rule of a sovereign
one administered to by a government body, and such collectives of people so administered
a syntactic unit, that with the predicate, form the main constituents of a simple sentence, referring to entity performing action
one who undergoes or may undergo some action
an entity under control of another
an entity used for medical, surgical or psychological treatment or experiment
a cadavre used for dissection
self or ego
that which thinks, feels, perceives, intends
that in which quality or attributes adhere
open or exposed
dependent or conditional upon
liable, prone
to place beneath something

[L subject(us) thrown under]

theme, topic, reason, rationale, subordinate, subservient, contingent

(subjectively, subjectivity, subjectiveness.

existing in the mind
pertaining to a particular individual
placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions
unduly egocentric
characteristic of a political subject

mental, substantial, inherent


anything visible, tangible, stable in form anything that may be understood intellectually
anything for which one has a mental or emotional impression (object of desire)
the end towards which effort is directed
goal, purpose
part of a sentence that combines with the verb to form a verb phrase
the goal of the of a preposition in a prepositional phrase
anything toward which a cognitive act is directed
to offer argument or opposition
express disapproval, dislike, distaste, revulsion
refuse to permit some actino, speech
to bring forward to adduce in opposition
to refuse to permit

[ME < LL object(us) act of placing before or opposite

target, destination, intent, intention, motive, aim.

Objectivity – Objective
(objective, objectively, objectiveness, objectiveness, objectivize, objectivity, objectless)

the means of thinking characterised by freedom personal feelings, prejudice or bias, based on facts
interest in dealing with matters outside the mind
intentness on any particular thing(s) outside the mind
external reality


The over-emphasis of the objective judgment as preferable to the exclusion of the dismissed subjective perspective, which in educated and thoughtful cases one might venture to call wisdom.

Regardless, the focus on Objectivity combines an interesting set of ideas:
the absence of emotional engagement, or freedom from personal feelings,
based on facts
intentness and interest in things, the concrete, the physical, the material
focus on the visible, tangible, stable in form
a focus on the world external to the mind
argument, opposition, disapproval, dislike, distaste, revulsion
refuse to permit action, speech

Placed in opposition in Popular Culture subjectivity and objectivity form a binary means of thought and perception. Meanings particular to subjective, such as the submissive qualities it represents, begin to add meaning previous unattributed to the objective.

The neutral, or at least striving for neutral, objective perspective, now in opposition to the submissive subjective, gains a certain notion of superiority. Detachment becomes elevated. The impartiality of machines as measurers and observers of the universe becomes indisputable.

The subjective design, construction, and adjustment of the machines in the course of their development remains largely dismissed and unacknowledged. Thus, in combination, the objective refuses the subjective to speak, subjugates the subjective to emotional detachment and indifference. The subjective, now in opposition to the objective, becomes empassioned, and subjugated further.

The objective has goals, destinations, an aim, purpose, intent, quite opposite to its role in a sentence. The subject typically subjugates the object to its actions. The passive subject, however, has control exerted upon it by the object. The passive subject, no longer empassioned by the objective, tends towards inertia or annihilation.

The basis of the objective in facts exerts a certain attachment to measurements, or data as calculated against an accepted standard, as determined by comparison to a calibrated tool. The ruler, for example, provides us with facts, the characteristics of the physical world, in terms of their relative measure to it, and thus to anything else that has had its comparative dimensions recorded. So the facts.

However, facts themselves have no meaning, and represent only raw data. The juxtaposition of disparate facts and connection of similarities of theme, an analysis of sorts, displays the individual's mind's skill at recognising patterns. Interpretation of information from facts or data to knowledge, and with the accumulation of knowledge tempered by experience, wisdom.

Facts in and of themselves provide raw information, devoid of relevance. Rote memorisation of facts undermines learning, as the information remains inert, without context, without meaning, as determined by the subjective interpretation of the individual person. An overemphasis on the factual, as opposed to the true, has lead down an extremely short-sighted path, as we cannot see the larger patterns, so intent is our focus on the infinitesimal details of the particulars of the physical world.

Lapse – Elapse – Relapse – Postlapsarian

17 June 2006

Redefinitions Redirected in the Redictionary


(lapsed, lapsing, lapser, lapsable/lapsible, lapsus, )

accidental decline in condition or state
temporary falling or slipping from previous standard
slip, error (often trivial)
interval/passage of time
a moral fall, (from rectitude)
falling into disuse
falling, slipping, sliding by degrees
gentle downward flow, as of water
fall, slip, sink
fall spiritually
to deviate or abandon principles
to pass away, as time

[Latin laps(us) error, slip, slide]

(elapsed, elapsing)

to slip by or pass away (time)
the passage or termination of a period of time

[Latin elaps(us) to slip away]

(relapsed, relapsing, relapsable, relapser)

to fall, slip back to former state
to fall back into illness after apparent recovery
to fall back into vice, error, wrongdoing

after the fall

The fall of whom, or what, one asks of the postlapsarian?

In Christian mythology, Adam's expulsion from Eden and fall from Grace in the represents such a lapse.
Lucifer and the Rebel Angels' expulsion from Heaven and fall from Grace.
The Tower of Babel collapsing under the confusion of a cacophony of voices.

In Greek mythology, Icharus fell from the sky, on waxed ears, and wilted wings, he too aspiring to Godhead.

In Scientific mythology, the bodies of the universe, galaxies, nebulae, and constituent stars, fall away from one another.
Human Beings evolved in such a way that they descended from the trees, developed opposable thumbs, walked upright, and began obsessing over tools.

In Astrological mythology, the constellation Ophiuchus had fallen from the Zodiac, where he occupied a station between Scorpio and Sagittarius.