In a Word, a World

I love them all.

I love that a handful, a mouthful, gets you by, a satchelful can land you a job, a
well-chosen clutch of them could get you laid, and that a solitary word can initiate
a stampede, and therefore can be formally outlawed—even by a liberal court
bent on defending a constitution guaranteeing unimpeded utterance. I love that
the Argentine gaucho has over two hundred words for the coloration of horses
and the Sami language of Scandinavia has over a thousand words for reindeer
based on age, sex, appearance—e.g., a busat has big balls or only one big ball.
More than the pristine, I love the filthy ones for their descriptive talent as well as
transgressive nature. I love the dirty ones more than the minced, in that I respect
extravagant expression more than reserved. I admire reserve, especially when
taken to an ascetic nth. I love the particular lexicons of particular occupations.
The substrate of those activities. The nomenclatures within nomenclatures. I am
of the unaccredited school that believes animals did not exist until Adam assigned
them names. My relationship to the word is anything but scientific; it is a matter
of faith on my part, that the word endows material substance, by setting the thing
named apart from all else. Horse, then, unhorses what is not horse.

 

Darren Angle