Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pixie dust

kw: musings, words, proverbs

On occasion my grandmother would say, "Everybody is a bit pixillated, except me and thee; and sometimes I think thee is also pixillated." She claimed it was an old Quaker saying, in which "pixillated", from "pixie", is a nice way of saying "crazy". Though she was a Methodist, her grandmother was a Quaker. She would say it to one of us boys who was being silly.

These days you can't repeat this saying and be understood. The word "pixelated" has been coined along with digital imagery, to mean "low resolution so the pixels show", or "deliberately exaggerated pixels" as in this image.

A pixel is nowhere near as wonderful a concept as a pixie. A perfectly beautiful word has been superseded by technology.

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