Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Damn Short Words

Earlier this month Ariel Vanderhorst of the Vocabulary Reclamation Project issued a challenge inspired by the following text of Orthodoxy:

Long words go rattling by us like long railway trains. We know they are carrying thousands who are too tired or too indolent to walk and think for themselves. It is a good exercise to try for once in a way to express any opinion one holds in words of one syllable. If you say "The social utility of the indeterminate sentence is recognized by all criminologists as a part of our sociological evolution towards a more humane and scientific view of punishment," you can go on talking like that for hours with hardly a movement of the gray matter inside your skull. But if you begin "I wish Jones to go to gaol and Brown to say when Jones shall come out," you will discover, with a thrill of horror, that you are obliged to think. The long words are not the hard words, it is the short words that are hard. There is much more metaphysical subtlety in the word "damn" than in the word "degeneration."

The challenge is to write a blog post entirely with one-syllable words. You can read the challenge HERE. In the comments Ariel added some guidelines: "... the post must be half a page, or at least several good paragraphs. If longer, you will be elevated to genius status. As well, the post's content must mirror the standards (high, of course) which your blog normally maintains. No 'see Spot run' stuff. The post should contain some propositional content; that is, we should be able to read it and agree. Now that the rules have been posted, you may break them at your leisure." His own stab with a swordstick can be found at his BitterSweetLife blog (LINK).

Any more takers? Make sure to drop a link to your post here in the comments. And let Ariel know as well.

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