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BOOKS
January 19, 1992
If Groothuis wants to learn some new words, how about flatulent verbosity ? CARLO PANNO, BURBANK
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 1985
In your editorial (March 20) about the Soviet scientist Iosef Shklovskii you neglected to mention the "play on words" in his statement of why he was unable to leave the Soviet Union: "Yes, I was ill. I had diabetes. Too much Sakharov." Sakhar is the Russian word for sugar. MICHAEL J. BAZYLER Los Angeles
MAGAZINE
December 20, 1998
Regarding Joy Horowitz's "A Room With a View" (Nov. 22): I have taped above my desk the words that the author found copied by her father from Gustave Flaubert, along with her own conclusion: "The futility of words in the face of feeling; the longing for more. This is what my father the psychologist understood best. Still, we keep trying, because even as words fail us, the greater failure is in abandoning our hearts." Both should be made available in the Oxford Book of Quotations. I have more hope today because of this story and these two citations.
SCIENCE
June 15, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
In an attempt to replicate the early experiences of infants, researchers in England have created a robot that can learn simple words in minutes just by having a conversation with a person. The work, published this week in the journal PLoS One, offers insight into how babies transition from babbling to speaking their first words. The 3-foot-tall robot, named DeeChee, was built to produce any syllable in the English language. But it knew no words at the outset of the study, speaking only babble phrases.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 29, 1989
It's unfortunate that the members of Guns N' Roses lack the maturity to deliver their message without having to make every fourth word a foul one. At the recent Coliseum concert, the guitar player served up some incredibly trite lead, but not before proving that, yes indeed, he was a member of GNR: He too has a marvelously varied vocabulary, which also contains only four-letter words--duhh. What a gem. What a sterling example for the kids who came to hear good music. What a jerk.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 1989
In their June 11 letters denouncing "word taboos," Eric Borer and Evan S. Marlowe seem to be saying: Because our society is permeated with vulgarity, violence and crime and because "we have as much to fear from ribaldry as from dirty laundry," let us be rid of all taboos. If I understand their message, vice should not be taught as evil, because it is part of our society. This kind of mentality led to the downfall of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. RICHARD D. SWIFT Rancho Cucamonga
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