SONG: The Shape of Your Words


“The Shape of Your Words.” [Download]
(To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Kiki or bouba? In search of language’s missing link”, New Scientist, 19 July 2011, as used in the post “Sounds curvy”.

ABSTRACT: I’ve been listening to mid-90s twee again. And something about words having shapes seems like something Heavenly or Tullycraft would sing about, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s just me.

Unlike the research, I decided to use real words that have been mostly forgotten (and a couple of indie pop names). Because they have lovely shapes.

Stop your interfation
As I perform my peroration
Please let me enumerate the bliss

Of this enunciation
Of our longed-for osculation
By which I mean I’ll seal it with a kiss

It would be tristifical
If, like Travis Bickle,
You were to prefer your vacivity

And my life would be sparsile
Scoring in the lowest quartile
If you shunned my succisive tortiloquy

You deserve your own Tom Skerritt
Not a wordy Stephin Merritt wannabe.
Like me.

It’s the shape
Of your words.
And the sound
Of your name (that I’m feeling).

I would speak an endless spiral
Ictuate the cosmogyral
With nothing more than letters and my lungs.

And you might not know the meanings
We can still believe the feelings
As glossolalia speaks in our tongues

Driving east like John Darnielle does,
From Erie to Port Matilda – and then the sea
You and me

It’s the shape
Of your words.
And the sound
Of your name (that I’m feeling).

Glossary (mostly from hither list and yon obscure dictionary):
interfation – the act of interrupting another while speaking.
peroration – the end of a speech, or a long speech characterized by lofty and often pompous language.
osculation – touching along a curve; kissing.
tristifical – causing to be sad or mournful.
vacivity – emptiness.
sparsile – of a star, not included in any constellation.
succisive – of time, spare or in excess.
tortiloquy – crooked speech.
ictuate – to emphasize, to put metrical stress on.
cosmogyral – whirling round the universe.
glossolalia – speaking in tongues.

Next, a penitential cover….

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. techtings» Songs torn from science headlines

Comments are closed.