Monday, 25 June 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Caldwell's Standard Scale is a way of measuring a language's level of eccentricity (or inventiveness, if you prefer) by the terms given to knots. The neutral standard is English knottery, which has names like 'stockgrower's lash', 'icicle hitch' and 'moist mutton kink' but which mainly consists of prosaic names like 'farmer's loop' and 'gentleman's tie-over'.

Canadian linguist GD Caldwell developed the scale for the 3rd Biennial Catachrestic Symposium in San Diego in 1989. The lowest rated (metaphorically simplest) languages include Arabic and Icelandic (in which most knots are given numbers); the highest rated include Thai (very long names), Farsi (poetic names) and the top rated language is Xhosa. Though largely untranslateable, Xhosa knots include 'pulsing tongue of stars', 'skid round a hut', 'what were you thinking yesterday, grandfather' and 'beer spilling on the fire'.
eXTReMe Tracker