If your dream in life is to fit in at a swanky wine-and-cheese gathering hosted by the world’s elite literati, then we have found the channel for you. If you’re a little more down-to-earth than that and you just like discovering new words, interactive video experiences, or stop-motion animation, you should still check out Mysteries of Vernacular.
Mysteries of Vernacular, when completed, will be a 26 episode web series from Myriapod Productions, the creators of a very beautiful looking Sundance-featured film about the planet Venus. Each episode details the etymological origins of a seemingly ordinary word, taking viewers on a stop-motion journey through lexical history. The whole series is narrated by a calming voice who I’m pretty sure is Buzz Killington’s more interesting brother. Check out how the word “hearse” is somehow derived from a word describing a wolf’s teeth:
Yeah, I know. Crazy. The origin of each word weaves through unexpected fields of study. “Clue” comes from Greek Mythology, “Pants” originated in Italian theatre, and the history of the word “Assassin” basically describes the entire plot of Assassin’s Creed, but with more psychoactive drugs. The way the series works in facts from these historical cultures alongside the evolving nature of the featured word is truly fascinating.
Mysteries of Vernacular, however, cannot be properly appreciated without a trip to its homepage. The series will eventually feature one episode dedicated to each letter, and the episodes are accessed by clicking on alphabetized volumes. I had some great fun trying to guess which word would be showcased for each letter. Let’s just say I did not see “Pants” coming. The episodes are embedded from Vimeo and each one is beautifully animated in stop-motion. There are a lot of stop-motion videos on the Internet, probably because stop-motion is AWESOME and never seems overused. (Unrelated, but this is still the best stop-motion video on the Internet, and if you disagree I’ll fight you.)
Myriapod claims that each video takes 80 hours of researching and animation to complete, which means that the whole project will take 2,080 hours to complete. In other words, this project will take 260 full work days, or EXACTLY one year (not including weekends). Yeah, it’s safe to say these guys are working pretty hard on their videos, and the result is amazing. Check them out, send them some financial aid if it tickles your fancy, and be sure to thank them when your next high-society gathering is a smashing success.