Friday, May 13, 2016

Word of the day: tachistoscope

The word of the day is tachistoscope:
  1. an apparatus for use in exposing visual stimuli, as pictures, letters, or words, for an extremely brief period, used chiefly to assess visual perception or to increase reading speed.

"Arthur was the head of the foreign division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, so he managed to slip me into the small department where the captions of the spoken soundtrack were made and then translated into French and German.

"I was totally inept at reducing the spoken words to single sentences that fit in one camera shot... I was using a machine called a tachistoscope on a reel of Red Dust, a steamy film in which Jean Harlow bathed almost nude in a barrel."

 - Doris Grumbach, "The Remains of My Days", Spring 2016 The American Scholar (

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