Monday, January 03, 2005

New Words for Old

Well before I started this blog, I began collecting words that symbolized for me the widening gap between progressive and conservative world views. I'd envisioned a book project called Red, Blue and White that would present side-by-side conflicting definitions of words like:
Activist Judges
Class Warfare
Death Tax
Marriage Penalty
Trial Lawyers

The concept was to overprint the pages with red and blue so that a definition could only be read by viewing it through a red or blue filter. It was going to be bi-partisan, I just couldn't decide whether to make both extremes look reasonable or stupid. Then there were questions of how to actually produce the book and whether it could be distributed and sold. It was entirely possible I could labor over it for a year before I discovered it simply wasn't feasible. (You begin to see why conceptual art took off in the '60s. Thinking up the concepts was a lot of fun, but all that execution could get to be drag.)

Once I got going on this and discovered how easy it was to publish a blog, I decided to make the project more dynamic and put it on the Web. Rather than add it here, where the periodic updates would get mixed in with the rest of the posts, I created another blog, called The New Words Project. There, I can continue to add words, solicit comments and new submissions, and gradually build a lexicon of exhausted words and new language.

If you're interested in how and why we talk around each other, pay The New Words Project a visit.


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