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The Language of Oz

Last time I looked at the language of colors, and of course it's hard to think about colors without thinking about rainbows, and it's hard to think about rainbows without thinking abou the song "Over the Rainbow" and it's hard to think about the song without thinking about the MGM movie The Wizard of Oz.

However, even though the movie is a classic, I've never read the books on which it is based. It turns out that L. Frank Baum wrote 14(!) books in the Oz series, plus a bunch of other things connected to the Land of Oz. Not surprisingly, the MGM movie is a bit different from the books — example, Dorothy has silver shoes, not ruby slippers.

Just for fun, I've created a page that lets you explore the language of the Oz books for yourself. (You can open it separately, if you want.) While I won't claim to be a wizard, I hope you will find it wonderful.

While Judy Garland sang the original version of "Over the Rainbow" (she was only 16!), I think this version by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is even better — one of the relatively few cases where a later interpretation is better than the "classic" one.