May 28, 2008

Now, even language is sacred

Honestly, I used to argue that an unabridged

dictionary could put an end to this world’s

troubles. A literate De Soto, a cure-all of

Greek and Old English. Ha. Little did I know,

peace laureates don’t rely on ten-dollar words

to part their metaphorical seas. This planet

may cave into sly semantics, or, even worse,

well-bred behavior. When that happens, it will

be prudent to account for all religions. Just to

assess what they’re “up to,” what they can “bring

to the conversation.” A sense of which fables

happen to be in season. Just yesterday, I burned

my Merriam-Webster Third New International.

Fulfillment did course through my veins. But

that’s a mystic’s flaw. Reporting for Newsweek, I

can’t say this life has gotten too much better

since the lexical bonfire. Amid my withdrawal,

I went on a low-dose word patch. (For obvious

reasons.) A bishop submitted that I be

hung for heresy, electrocuted, or, in his words,

“Executed for bad taste I won’t even attempt

to verbalize.” We talked about it. We put

down our mouthpieces and saw it’s a matter

of lock-and-key diplomacy. He had the lock.

As always, I had an even older lock:

The gallows waxed far too literally for me.

Matt Anderson

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