Stories — Language

The Hobo Code

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

The Hobo Code

Was it really such a big thing?

The hobo code is a system of symbols purportedly used by hobos to communicate information about resources and conditions at locations along their routes. The pictographic symbols were often scratched or painted on buildings or other structures in locations where hobos were known to congregate. The code was devised as an easy-to-understand, universal hobo language that helped fellow hobos keep one another safe. Nice.

While there may be little evidence to prove that the hobo code was actually widely used and not just a media concoction, we do know for certain that hobos left their marks. 

Read more →

SOS

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

SOS

Super Important But Short for Nothing

SOS is a Morse code distress signal (· · · — — — · · ·) that is internationally recognised as a request for help. Contrary to what some people may believe,  SOS does not stand for “Save our Ship” or “Save Our Souls”. The letters "SOS" don’t, in fact, stand for anything. They just happen to be the letters that correspond to the Morse code signal comprised of three dots, three dashes, and then three more dots.

Read more →

Untranslatable Words 1

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

Untranslatable Words 1

Uniquely helpful words that only exist in other languages

Language, culture and history are forever locked in a dance, each one relying on the other for meaning and direction. Even if two words in two languages refer to the same thing, connotations come into play and the grey area between word and meaning widens. That’s because, while words are just words, their meanings tell us about our values, emotions and relationships. 

In celebration of that grey area that reminds us to be appreciative of our differences, here are ten words from around the world that have no clear and concise translation to English. 

Read more →

Esperanto

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

Esperanto

A Language Designed to Change the World

There are over 7,000 languages in use throughout the world today. Some are long-standing and national, and some are more widely spoken than others. Some are fictional. (Sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but no one really speaks Klingon (Star Trek) or Quenya (Lord of the Rings).)

And then there’s one language was invented to try to change the world.

Read more →

Dude With Sign

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

Dude With Sign

Red Onions Are Clearly Purple

Take one dude, add some cardboard and a decent black marker pen, mix together with a simple idea and some observational writing, capture the image and share. Repeat often.

Read more →