Random word love

This, from the Peabody Essex Museum‘s description of a Joseph Cornell exhibit: “This exhibition is organized thematically to suggest his understanding of the imagination as an echo chamber where possibilities and connections can be discovered through subtle repetition and variation.” Ahhh. Imagination as an echo chamber. Doesn’t that make you just tingle?

How about this? “Not quite a vegetable but not quite a seaweed, salicornia must have gone through a tough identity crisis as a teenager. And that’s not even taking into account the multiple names it has to answer to — sea bean, sea asparagus, glasswort, or marsh samphire in English, perce-pierre, salicot, cornichon de mer, or criste-marine in French.” Mmm. How would you like such a variety of rolling-off-the-tongue names, yourself?

Or this? “

Ahem.

Indeed, the English language is smarmy and erudite and fabulous. It is Ru Paul and Ron Paul, it is nuns in an argument over the Latin Mass (“That is so early 60s!”). It is also Shakespearean sonnets and Allen Ginsberg reading HOWL and the way we can use words to box in these ideas we have, which fly like moths in a small wire cage, funkified by the disco ball and thinking it is God. If a thought is flying about, profound, unbounded, the word we have for it will give it those boundaries, the ragged edge where it meets other words defined, if not clean. How we define that edge differs from language to language, making it that much more fun.

This is a public service announcement. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program. (In our case, watching My Neighbor Totoro. While I attempt to turn an odd garter-stitch-square four-legged creature into a starfish. Unless it wants to be something else.) Have a good night.

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