It's the "-" in "Uh-Oh"

It’s the dashLuzius writes:

“I’m a PhD student in Historical Linguistics in Zürich, and I’ve got a glottal stop tattoo on the pinkie of my left hand. It is one of the letters of the International Phonetic Alphabet and it designates a specific consonant occuring in many languages of the world. To articulate a glottal stop, you need to stop the airflow by pressing your vocal cords together, build up pressure from the lungs, and then release the vocal cords with an audible burst. Many dialects of English have a glottal stop instead of /t/ in words like /cat/ or /butter/. It is common in German, too, where you can hear it in front in front of words starting with a vowel, like /Anna/ or /Eis/. I chose this tattoo because it represents my passion for linguistics, and because typograhpy in general, and the shape of this letter in particular, appeals to my sense of aesthetics.”

Click here to go to the full Science Tattoo Emporium.

0 thoughts on “It's the "-" in "Uh-Oh"

  1. In the example given in the post, is it like how some people from the UK say “bu’er” instead of “butter”?

  2. I think I’ve found my next tattoo.

    I’m originally from Hartlepool in the North East of England. It’s in an area called Teesside and our accent has a pronounced glottal stop. I’ll cut a long story short; In England northerners are often seen as poor, unsophisticated and less intelligent than people from the south.

    For many years of my life, I felt being marked out as a northerner by my accent (and then judged) was a disadvantage. I’ve slowly learned that my accent is an advantage. Most people remember me because of it… SOME people underestimate me because of it and being underestimated is a distinct advantage in life.

    The symbol is a great way of representing my home, my family and my background

  3. To copy a person’s unique tattoo is theft of personality. To steal an idea which a person has obviously made a thoughtful and personal decision about would be a regrettable action for all parties involved. Especially when they have been so open and trusting as to share a piece of their private selves with the rest of us.
    Britain has such an ancient and interestingly diverse culture – from Picts to Vikings to Romans and on – that it would be such a waste not to mine such a wealth of ideas. I’m certain there must be some distinct iconography in your northern culture which you would have a much more personal connection to.
    Perhaps it would be more appropriate to peer inside oneself, rather than looking to others, to better describe who you are?

    P.S. I understand I may be entirely too late on this topic, but I beg pardon, because I have strong feelings on the subject, and felt a need to speak.

  4. It’s a phonetic symbol. There was not a whole lot of originality required in the design or the choice. That does not cheapen its value, but it also does not make it “off limits” to another person.

    It is not a “unique tattoo”. It is a universal linguistic symbol, like a letter of the alphabet. If a person gets a tattoo of, say, a treble clef, or a peace sign, or a Chinese character, that’s not a unique design. This person has seen an image that inspires him, and has his own (different) reason to identify with it. It’s downright ridiculous to call that “theft”.

    That said, I love the simplicity of using a single phonetic character to carry so much more meaning than just the sound it denotes. I’ve been playing with similar ideas ever since I fell in love with linguistics.

    (I know, graveyard post, but I figured I’d leave my reply for posterity.)

  5. “To copy a person’s unique tattoo is theft of personality.” Well it depends…if it was a large tattoo designed specifically for the original person, yes. But in this case, it’s a pre-existing symbol/character, so second English major and Chris.

  6. Chris = wrong, English Major = wrong, leland = correct.

    Sort of.

    The original person chose it for a particular reason that meant something to them. If the other person copies it and claims the same reasons, then leland is correct. If they get the same tattoo for different reasons then Chris and English Major are correct.

  7. Going to come down on the side of Chris and English Major here (am an English major myself, too, but anyway)… Personality theft would be if the person had a full sleeve and someone else took it to a tattoo artist and said “I want this exactly, no variation.” This is a symbol. Each person who has it tattooed will have a different meaning attached to it; will have it done on a different location, perhaps; maybe even in a different color. While the second individual would say “Yes, I saw Internet Stranger with this tattoo and was inspired to do something similar,” it would hardly be “personality theft” unless, again, it were Exactly. The. Same… and even then, the skill of an artist would vary, and many tattoo artists will not exactly reproduce another piece anyway. I say go for it, James, if you haven’t already! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *