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the Curious Nature of English Spelling

the Curious Nature of English Spelling

English spelling is ridiculousSew and new don’t rhyme. Kernel and colonel do. When you see an ough, you might need to read it out as ‘aw’ (thought), ‘ow’ (drought), ‘uff’ (tough), ‘off’ (cough), ‘oo’ (through), or ‘oh’ (though). The ea vowel is usually pronounced ‘ee’ (weakpleasesealbeam) but can also be ‘eh’ (breadheadwealthfeather). Those two options cover most of it – except for a handful of cases, where it’s ‘ay’ (breaksteakgreat). Oh wait, one more… there’s earth. No wait, there’s also heart.

— Source: Aeon’s Arika Okrent

I’m a writer at heart, so I have an intimate relationship with language. It drives what I do, it creates worldviews and it is integrated into my work as an ecommerce professional. I’m very keen on seeing how language works in ecommerce (and all media). It has power that ascends beyond mere business; it influences, persuades and encourages the very emotions that make us human.

I volunteered for many years at Los Angeles’ Adult Literacy Program teaching a weekly writing course. It was the most humbling thing that I’ve done in my life. My students came from everywhere: Finland, North Korea, Columbia and Vietnam among others. Their intent was to learn how to write and speak English so that they could do more than order in a restaurant, but to express their narratives in a language, which, by all means, is incomprehensible. And they succeeded. Language truly is power.

No language Academy was established, no authority for oversight or intervention in the direction of the written form. English travelled and wandered and haphazardly tied pieces together. As the blogger James Nicoll put it in 1990, English ‘pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary’.

English can be a bitch to learn mostly because its a mongrel, combining and reordering other languages. It looks a lot like other languages but those are deceptive optics. It is truly an expansive, unique and changing living language that incorporates (even celebrates) the perpetual mutation and assimilation. There is a reason why computer programming codes are referred to as “languages.” They have syntax and rules and either it is correct, or it’s not. Not so much with English. Yes, syntax and rules do apply, but it’s really a clusterfuck of agreed upon terms and it changes — it changes a lot.

Writing is unquestionably a technology. It attaches to language in the way that the fork is a technology that attaches to our eating habits. Eating is undeniably a necessary part of our nature. The fork is a recent, unnecessary (no matter how useful) innovation. That analogy doesn’t go much further. There are very few things that capture the relation between language (the behaviour) and writing (the technology that represents the behaviour). It’s hard to find a good analogy. The point is that the eating happens whether we have the fork or not. Language happens whether we have writing or not.

cgk.ink uses language at advanced levels to promote your products. Let’s have a conversation about how writing can drive your business.

Mies van der Rohe

Mies van der Rohe

David Chipperfield Architects’ renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie unveiled

The first images of the renovation of the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin by David Chipperfield Architects have been revealed.Neue Nationalgalerie released the images shortly after the scaffolding surrounding the building was removed following an extensive, five-year renovation of the museum by David Chipperfield Architects.

Source: Dezeen.com

Photography is by Thomas Bruns, courtesy of BBR.

There is a building a few blocks away from my home. It captivates me. I can’t take my eyes off of it.

Since I moved to LA in 2007, I regard The City National Plaza (AKA The Arco Towers) as a statuesque, beautifully dressed superstar and I just stand there and gawk. For years.

Although it was not designed by Mies van der Rohe (Albert C. Martin & Associates is the architect), It is most definitely an homage. The profile is Modernist. The use of The Golden Triangle (Φ) ensures that the ratios are impeccable. Simply put, it’s fucking gorgeous.

What Have We Learned Today?

There are very good reasons to edit, revise, and remake. However, do not do so simply because you can.

I learned a lot from this building. It serves as a constant reminder to me to keep an eye on how design functions as well as how it looks.

Mies’s last work was the Neue Nationalgalerie art museum, the New National Gallery for the Berlin National Gallery.

Considered one of the most perfect statements of his architectural approach, the upper pavilion is a precise composition of monumental steel columns and a cantilevered (overhanging) roof plane with a glass enclosure. The simple square glass pavilion is a powerful expression of his ideas about flexible interior space, defined by transparent walls and supported by an external structural frame. Art installations by Ulrich Rückriem (1998) or Jenny Holzer, as much as exhibitions on the work of Renzo Piano or Rem Koolhaas have demonstrated the exceptional possibilities of this space.

The glass pavilion is a relatively small portion of the overall building, serving as a symbolic architectural entry point and monumental gallery for temporary exhibits. A large podium building below the pavilion accommodates most of the museum’s total built area with conventional white-walled art gallery spaces and support functions. A large window running along all the West facade opens these spaces up to the large sculpture garden which is part of the podium building.

Source: Wikipedia


And Then This Happened.

The North Tower, known as the Paul Hastings Tower, underwent renovations. The main client of the building, the international law firm Paul Hastings decided this stunner needed plastic surgery. And they did this:

Lawyers have no taste.

Human Design: Namsa Leuba

Human Design: Namsa Leuba

Vivid portraits shine light on Tahiti’s ‘third gender’

Published 9th October 2019
Written by
On the Polynesian island of Tahiti, there is said to be something akin to a sixth sense — one that belongs to neither men nor women. Instead, it is the sole domain of the “mahu,” a community recognized as being outside the traditional male-female divide.
“Mahu have this other sense that men or women don’t have,” said Swiss-Guinean photographer Namsa Leuba, whose images from the island are showing at a new exhibition in London. “It is well known in (French Polynesia) that they have something special.”
In Tahiti, mahu are considered a third or “liminal” gender, born biologically male but recognized by peers as distinct, often from early in their lives. Their gender identity has been accepted on the island since time immemorial, and mahu traditionally play key social and spiritual roles, as guardians of cultural rituals and dances, or providers of care for children and elders.

It’s Really Unfortunate and an Annoyance That We Live According to Normatives.

Years ago, I stopped using the word “should.” All my friends, collectively, just shrugged and ordered another drink. I think I was right and would like apologies, please.

We speak of “late phase capitalism” without realizing that we use those same words for cancer.

My main issue here is that “normative” no longer holds power. O! They try to make it work.

Plays Well With Others

Plays Well With Others

cgk.ink is very connected

We actively pursue connections, affiliations, and cooperatives to explore how ecommerce revolutionizes our economy on a daily basis. 

This means more than just inviting other designers to our marketplace, it means working with them to get a clear vision of how their work might transfer to digital marketplaces, how to take advantage of the newest functions of technology and, most importantly, how to sell and fulfill efficiently.

We’re pleased that one of the most innovative designers in Europe has agreed to work with us. Little Shiva is an artist based in Charleroi, Belgium who has designed, illustrated and fabricated a fantastic portfolio that focuses on education, jazz, animals and well, whatever she feels like. And she has agreed to design several exclusive designs found only on cgk.ink. How cool is this?

She is, of course, well known by The Gentleman Octopus and has created some stunning new products.

Latest Designs from

Little Shiva

We’re also working with organizations, non-profits, individuals, and collectives to bring us together and find weird, unexpected ways that ecommerce is presenting itself to us.

Wanna join? Drop us a note!

SkyNet is Hilarious!

SkyNet is Hilarious!

AI can often produce inconceivable results.

Google’s own facial recognition AI identified black people as gorillas:

When Brooklyn-native Jacky Alcine logged onto Google Photos on Sunday evening, he was shocked to find an album titled “Gorillas,” in which the facial recognition software categorized him and his friend as primates. Immediately, Alcine posted on Twitter: “Google Photos, y’all f***ed up. My friend’s not a gorilla.” This comment prompted over 1,000 re-tweets and an online discussion about how shocking the situation was. One user replied, “That is completely unacceptable and very low. I’m so sorry you had to come across such hurtful ignorance.” (Forbes)

While that’s socially and culturally disturbing, AI can also produce some amazingly funny things. Like, really funny.

Seems our little computer buddies have a sick sense of humor:

Amazon sellers have been experimenting with AI for a number of years now, but the company clearly wasn’t keeping an eye on the mischievous bot that recently had its way with their ‘phone accessories’ section.

My Handy Design, whose creator is still unknown, was a bot programmed to fetch frequently searched images, turn them into iPhone 6 cases, and put them up for sale. The bot’s algorithm somehow went rogue, however, and began scouring images so bizarre that we can only assume they came from the darkest, most depraved corners of the Internet. Whoever set this thing loose is either nursing a giant migraine right now, or rolling on the floor laughing.

Before long, My Handy Design had created thousands of phone cases displaying everything from marinated herring rolls to cocaine, and customers were having a field day in the reviews. Though most of them have now been flagged as ‘adult products,’ we’re sure they’re still going to be outselling OtterBoxes any day now. Check out some of our favourites below, and vote for the ones you’re dying to have. (Source)

Existential Thoughts on Ecommerce

Existential Thoughts on Ecommerce

So, I’ve been working on this site for quite a few weeks and am exploring some very complicated issues relating to a central question: “Who Are You?” Yes, it’s The Who song (which I love even before CSI’s appropriation). It’s a real question as I move through developing my own vision of an ecommerce site. Without the regulation and directive of a client, I am very much on my own. What choices am I making and why? It gets very deeply heady if you’re like me: an overthinker. There, I just made up a word. Anyway, here’s what I’m finding:

This is not structured.

The wild, weirdly bizarre things you can find on the internet are there because there is no agenda, index or credo. It’s The Summer of Love, perpetually. And I love that. And it strikes fear into my heart. No rules or guides = chaos, right? If you want to construct your own ecommerce site, you’ve got to spend many, many hours thinking about its structure, its meaning and why you even need to enter an arena of 1Bln+ sites. Seriously, what do you have to say?

Perfection is not achievable.

When I was in grad school, I would intensely make sure that my writing was perfect; my rhetoric impeccable; my grammar unquestioned. I also learned that if I didn’t turn in a paper on time, I would fail, so I had to go with what I had. FUCK PERFECTION. It’s unachievable. And there’s no excuse for your preciousness, either. Publish the piece of shit you hate and then erase it and edit it tomorrow. You’re vulnerable as a creative type. Own it and just put it out there. This is why you’re not a CPA.

Appreciate time.

Evolution is not a straight, upward line. Punctuated evolution is for realz. Your attempt at ecommerce will stall, then grow, then stall. Factors outside your control are very much in charge. Be nimble. And curious. Technology’s development takes no pause to run over you. Read. See. Get your head out of your damn computer and go be a human and see what humans do. Ya fucking geek. I’m encountering all of these issues and more. I challenged myself to create The Ideal Website since I offer that hope to my clients. It’s proving to be a lot more difficult than I thought.]]>