Mark Forsyth on the Proper Advective Order (!)

“…adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And as size comes before colour, green great dragons can’t exist.”

Mark Forsyth


  1. Opinion
  2. size
  3. age
  4. shape
  5. colour
  6. origin
  7. material
  8. purpose
  9. Noun

Sensational!

Viktor Frankl on Success

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”

Viktor Frankl

Chuck Klosterman on How to Write a Book

“So this book I had been sort of thinking about writing my whole life, but it didn’t dawn on me to write it until about three years ago. That’s how books work. It’s like you think about them for a long time without knowing it, and then something happens that causes you to make it into a physical book and if you really had been thinking about, it the book turns out to be good; and if you hadn’t been thinking about it, the book turns out to be forced.”

Chuck Klosterman

A Zen Master on the Goal vs. the Path

A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master: “If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen.”

The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”

The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then?”

Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.”

“But, if I really, really work at it. How long then?” asked the student.

“Thirty years,” replied the Master.

“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?”

Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”

The ‘Make Friends With Fear’ Game

“Give it a try, make friends with fear. Why? Because your life is a fucking nightmare and what do you have to lose and it’s worth it if there’s even a chance you’ll be happier with yourself. Right?”

Chase Reeves


This quote is from an article I wrote over on Medium about how to, you know, make a good life, not, like, be all {waves hands} fucked up all the time and moody or whatever. Give it a read.

Alan Watts on How to Become Wise

What you took to be a thinker of the thoughts was just one of the thoughts. What you took to be the experiencer of the experience was just a part of the experience.”

Alan Watts


the whole quote:

“The whole approach is not to convert you, not to make you over, not to improve you, but for you to discover that if you really knew the way you are things would be sane. But you see, you can’t do that. You can’t make that discovery because you’re in your own way so long as you think ‘I am I,’ so long as that hallucination blocks it. The hallucination disappears only in the realization of it’s own futility, when at last you see you can’t do it. […] You know a fool who persists in his folly becomes wise. So you’ve got to speed up the folly. […] What you took to be a thinker of the thoughts was just one of the thoughts. What you took to be the experiencer of the experience was just a part of the experience.”