Never Mind Those Thousand Words

ICOON from Amberpress makes meatspace convo all point & click.

Ocular proofs at the flip of a page.
Ocular proofs at the flip of a page.

You want something when you're in a foreign country: Eventually this is true. You want to go somewhere, you want to find someone, you want to purchase something. Hell, maybe you just want to use a toilet, even if it might be a toilet unlike any other you've seen in your life thus far. But, ah, damn, you can't make yourself understood. You don't speak the local language; the locals don't speak your language. What's a monoglot to do?

ICOON, which sounds like some provocative cyber-project from William Pope L., is a perfectbound booklet packed with precise line illustrations and full-color photos of people and things and situations. The idea is, you carry this mini-tome (written and gorgeously designed by Gosia Warrink) with you on your travels, and when language is a barrier, you simply locate an illo of what you're trying to communicate and then point it out to the person you're trying to talk to.

Brilliant? We think it might be called that, sure, especially as its precise and pleasing images are arranged in handy categories like "clothing," "hygiene," "health," "money," "food," "emotions," and so on. And, even if you're not planning on traveling beyond the borders of your own lingo's comfort zone anytime soon? It's quite a sweet little volume to peruse and share with others, and at $10 would make an excellent stocking stuffer for that holiday [points to image of Santa Claus] coming up.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Five Posh Options for Your Favorite Liquor Cabinet
Five Posh Options for Your Favorite Liquor Cabinet
You do, after all, deserve the best

Nov. 24, 2021

Five Things to Relish About the Stage Over Thanksgiving
Five Things to Relish About the Stage Over Thanksgiving
Plan your theatrical December

Nov. 26, 2021

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle