About This Website

This website was designed and developed by Adam Rose operating as Ideas in Action LLC using WordPress and the WordPress theme Twenty Eleven. It went live on 1 September 2012.

Please note that courses, lectures and writings in existence prior to the development of this website (which is most of them) are posted into the website with their approximate true historical dates and thus are, strictly speaking, “back-dated”. Likewise, future events are posted into the website with true dates and this are “fore-dated”.

If you discover errors with the content of this website and/or would like to make content suggestions, please  contact me. Thank you.

“Pixelated” vs “Pixilated”

In the course of developing this website I discovered that while many people these days are familiar with the word “pixelated”, relatively few are familiar with its homonym “pixilated”. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times or perhaps it’s a sign about my acquaintances, but (ever the teacher) I here offer a brief tutorial Wink .

pixelated : “of an image, having pixels [i.e. picture elements] that are large enough to be individually visible from a normal viewing distance” (Wiktionary.org);

pixilated : “slightly eccentric or mentally disordered” (Dictionary.com).

Lincoln in Dalivision  (1977) is a famous — perhaps  the most famous  — example of a pixelated image. At a distance it is “merely” a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Up close, however, it is many other things. The plot of Frank Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), on the other hand, famously turns on the elderly Faulkner sisters’ characterization of their neighbor Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) as “pixilated”:

[ Two shy sisters testify at Deeds’s sanity hearing ]
John Cedar: Do you know the defendant, Mr. Longfellow Deeds?
[ long pause ]
Jane Faulkner: Oh yes, yes, of course we know him.
John Cedar: How long have you known him?
[ Jane whispers to Amy; Amy whispers back ]
Jane Faulkner: Since he was born.
Amy Faulkner: Yes, Elsie Taggart was the midwife.
Jane Faulkner: He was a seven months’ baby.
John Cedar: Thank you, that’s, that’s fine. Do you see him very often?
[ Jane whispers to Amy; Amy whispers back ]
Jane Faulkner: Most every day.
Amy Faulkner: Sometimes twice.
Judge May: Must we have the echo?
John Cedar: Suppose you just answer, Miss Jane. Now, will you tell the court what everybody at home thinks of Longfellow Deeds?
[ pause; then Jane whispers to Amy; Amy whispers back ]
Jane Faulkner: They think he’s pixilated.
Amy Faulkner: Oh, yes, pixilated.
Judge May: He’s what?
John Cedar: What was that you said he was?
Jane Faulkner: Pixilated.
Amy Faulkner: Mm-hmm.
John Cedar: Now that’s rather a strange word to us, Miss Jane. Can you tell the court exactly what it means?
Board member: Perhaps I can explain, Your Honor. The word “pixilated” is an early American expression derived from the word “pixies,” meaning elves. They would say the pixies had got him. As we nowadays would say, a man is “barmy.”
Judge May: Oh. Is that correct?
Jane Faulkner: Mm-hmm.
Amy Faulkner: Mm-hmm.

Of course, it is quite possible that Salvador Dali was also pixilated.