October 4th, 2010 / 10:21 pm
Random

Word Bigot

There are some words that, when I come across them in a work, make me unhappy, sometimes even upset. Maybe for all of us, this is true. We are accustomed to groaning over phrases (too cliche, too idiomatic), tropes, themes, etc., but it strikes me as peculiar, on this particular night, that individual words, taken individually, can also bring the cringe. They’re just words! And yet, certain ones seem dirty, cheap somehow–carrying more than their fair share, evoking too much, taking some of the onus off the writer and moving it onto some collective, anthological poetic consciousness. Too, is word-disdain the equivalent of that prevalent relationship theory–that when you dislike a certain person, you’re disliking the part of yourself you see in him or her? Are you, here, rejecting the part of yourself that secretly, shamefully, is prone to using the blacklisted words, or uses them still? For me, words that put me off  tend to be ones I cherished at some point, maybe when my expectations of language were different, but ones that I’ve since, I don’t know, outgrown? That’s not quite right. Can you grow out of words? Have you? Which ones? Let’s burn some up. Or, burn some sage and get a few back.

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