When Twitter was text-only, I confess to finding it a dry and wanting experience. I realize that sort of goes against my living mantra that The Word Rules — but I do think what sort of word rules us is important.
Now that Twitter are publishing inline images with Twitter streams, I actually appreciate the “worth a thousand words” addition to the brittle 140 character limit of a Tweet. Now the word reflects the image and the image reflexes the 140 construction.
When I passively heard news reports Bob Dylan had been voted into the “prestigious and elite” Academy of Arts and Letters, I was surprised, and immediately recalled famous Groucho Marx quote, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Bob Dylan is no hoity-toity academic — he’s a measured man of depth and magnitude. What was going on?
Words are an incredibly potent and powerful thing. I don’t just mean in the sense that you can have a poem that seems to be made out of the same word over and over — shi shi or repeating buffalo and meaning an entire sentence from it. Here I refer to the power of words that might seem simple and yet have a powerful effect on those that hear them.
There are a lot of things going wrong in New York Public schools — there is overcrowding and a lack of funding, teachers that get shipped off to rubber rooms and too many children that find a lack of reason to pay attention in class. Now on top of all that, teachers have to be careful how they write their tests because they now have to avoid using certain words that are deemed to be unpleasant to students.
We confess to getting a little thrill whenever we see a mainstream media outlet use the made up title of this Panopticonic blog in print on their pages. The latest media monster to invoke our “Panopticonic” is CounterPunch in a fine article — A Bloody Awful Question of Liquidity — written by Stephen Martin.
One of the most annoying things in an allegedly literate human world is when a person invents a word for a word that already has meaning and context and then tries to press that definition into others in everyday use. I’m not talking about words like “Memeingful” or “RelationShaping” or even the colossal “Panopticonic” — all of which have base value in an original colloquial expression — no, I’m talking about “words” like “Blubeekuss” that are made up to be a synonym for “bra.”
I was walking home from the train this evening and I heard a woman speaking with someone on her mobile phone. She was talking about some restaurant and how much she enjoyed their food. She then proclaimed that they had absolutely delicious “fill-ehh mean-yawn.” I shuddered right there on the street. A complete and full ripple through my body. I was completely and utterly disgusted. What is wrong with me?