As much as I love art, I’m also fond of words; and I find the the origin of particular words fascinating because it shows, as in art, how we develop things and put them into use over time. I also like animation.
Mysteries of Vernacular is a series of short, artfully crafted stop-motion animations explaining the origin of individual English language words.
Set in a bookcase website interface, the animations themselves largely take place in and on the pages of books. You can view them small in the context of the interface, or, once they are started, click again to view them larger (usually on Vimeo).
The project is young and the bookshelves are still thin, and some of the volumes are blank (“coming soon”). As of this writing there are videos for the words Assassin, Clue, Hearse and Pants, accessed by clicking on the book spines showing the letter with which they begin.
In addition to being amused, you may actually learn something about the origin of words, or at least get a Clue.
[Via hurdy gurdy girl on MetaFilter]