The La-La Theory is a lively appraisal of the ways we use language today — and all of the surprises it can throw at us. Issue 6 looks at the cultural limitations of vocabulary, for instance, when a particular emotion is assimilated by some languages and not others — “saudade” (Turkish) and “kaiho” (Finnish) both evoke a longing for something which is unlikely to return. There are plenty of other discussions too — Katie’s thirst for learning new snippets of language sets her on a constant trail of discovery. She describes visiting thrift stores and finding such gems as Teach Me To Read, a 1959 grammar workbook filled with an accidental poetry entirely its own: “Do you want to play with my little piano? /Take a knife and fork and eat your meat”. There’s also an interview with Rachel Manija Brown, who adapts manga and Japanese novels into English, capturing the nuances of the text rather than settling for a stiff, formal approximation. It’s her job to reassign the intended puns, honorifics and onomatopoeia to a translated text, keeping the jokes firmly in. Did you know that “niko niko” refers to the state and sound of smiling? Well, now you do. Merry Christmas!