ashnistrike: (Default)
[personal profile] ashnistrike
My good learning textbook has fun words in it.

Dichotomania: the desire to divide all methods and styles of cognition simplistically into "left-brain" and "right-brain" thought. I've been haranguing my kids about this for years, but I've never had a word for it.

Spandrels: an evolutionary term--side-effects of a mutation with adaptive benefit, that aren't the original adaptive "purpose" but are cool anyway. So the immediate adaptive benefit of increased brain size in humans might have been better problem-solving skills, better memory for food and predator location, language, or any number of other possibilities depending on your pet theory (it's hard to test these things). Spandrels would include the ability to compose symphonies, long philosophical rants at 4 AM, and democratic constitutions. I love this word. It sounds like extra sparkly bits that got added on to something already beautifully functional, just to make it more decorative. It makes me feel like I'm walking around dressed up all fancy.

The cynics may now try to figure out an equivalent word for traffic jams, water pollution, and Welsh-language television (no offense intended to Ibliss--just a Good Omens reference).

Spandrels. Spandrels, spandrels, spandrels... it's better than "plethora!"

Date: 2005-04-19 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cktraveler.livejournal.com
I've been haranguing my kids about this for years, but I've never had a word for it.

"Dualism Addiction" is two words, isn't it?

Date: 2005-04-19 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashnistrike.livejournal.com
Yes, and refers to a broader problem--though I suppose dichotomania could technically be used to refer to the same thing.

Date: 2005-04-20 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] collie13.livejournal.com
"Better than 'plethora'"? Preposterous! I am flabbergasted that such a recondite individual as yourself -- a veritable philosophic manque! - would consider so tatterdemalion a word as "plethora" to be worthy of such glorification!

Okay, that was way too much fun... *embarrassed cough* sorry, couldn't resist... ;)

spandrels are also parts of buildings

Date: 2005-04-23 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ethesis.livejournal.com
The spandrels I deal with are on office buildings -- they are the glass that covers areas where the glass isn't a window (like between the floors). Just in case you are interested in the original meaning.

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