What's With The Title?


Thank you for visiting my blog! I have gotten many questions on my choice of titles here and I'm sure you're asking yourself "What IS a colorless green idea and why does it blog furiously?" "Can ideas blog in the first place?" "What's her deal?" Well, I'll tell you.

First of all, this blog is all about green ideas, mine and others.

Next you should note, that I am a linguist by trade and have spent many years getting degrees in this subject. A result of (or maybe a reason for) my schooling, is that I find words and language fascinating and fun. I love exploring multiple meanings of words and studying how sentence structure and context change those meanings. This title is to bring to light my linguistic roots and to give me an excuse to reference linguist, Noam Chomsky even though I don't necessarily agree with all of his linguistic theories.  He did pave the way for a whole new take on language learning which is a huge step. He was also a political activist. You can read more about him on his Wikipedia page or in any number of good books that you can find on the internet.

"What? Chompsky you say? What does a linguist have to do with the environment?'
Well, for one, I'm a linguist (and I care about the environment) so it appropriate that I pay homage to Chomsky (not ChomPsky...both written and spoken, it should be without a P, he is not a shark afterall!). In 1957 Chomksy coined the sentence "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." as an example of good sentence structure, or syntax (click for definition) - which is different than grammar - but nonsensical in meaning, or semantics. There have been attempts at giving meaning to this sentence using the non-literal readings of the words. So "colorless" could mean "uninteresting" and "green" would mean "young, not developed" etc. etc.  The title is my own take on the meaning and how it will interact with the blogosphere. My green ideas no not sleep, and actually, they are very active in the social media world.

An example of a syntax tree from Wikipedia.

Let's start from the end of the title. "Furiously" is defined by Dictionary.com as
1. full of fury, violent passion, or rage; extremely angry; enraged: He was furious about the accident.
2. intensely violent, as wind or storms.
3. of unrestrained energy, speed, etc.: furious activity.
and I like to think of myself as mostly the third definition (and indeed, if you met me you'd find that I am usually a very happy, energetic and enthusiastic person). When I get an idea that excites me, I tend to pursue it with great energy and speed. 

Now for "blog".  In this instance, I'm using it as a verb in the sense of "to blog". 

"Colorless Green Ideas" is a bit more tricky to define. In all honesty, "colorless" really only has one job and that is to fit my blog title into Mr. Chomsky's original sentence. And "green ideas" well, this is an environmental blog, after all. 

So, now you may return to your regularly scheduled programming and thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you come back regularly and post comments, compliments and criticism in whatever order you desire.

And remember: When it comes to green-living, we DO what we CAN and we CAN DO it!

1 comment:

  1. Nice photo!

    May I point out that to use the non-literal meanings and still maintain good syntax, one must add a comma between the adjectives (colorless and green)?

    Regardless, I like your blog name.