Tuesday, December 22, 2009


In linguistics, the lexicon (from the Greek: Λεξικόν ) of a language is its vocabulary, including its words and expressions. More formally, it is a language's inventory of lexemes.

I thought of this word when rereading the following fragment I wrote...

"...building mini indestructible pyramids for Chinese pharaohs."

I think that breakdown led to a breakthrough. This little fragment represents an evolutionary jump in my writing. See, I wasn't trying to be poetic. I was just throwing down words that symbolize my imagination but the words came out sort of poetic. It's perfectly understandable and yet the words have never been used like this before. This, I think, is a writer's job: reinvent language. I've been toying with that pyramid/pharaoh image for years because I think we all agree the pyramids are a monumental waste of human resources and the pharaoh had no justification for building them...except that he had free labor and an insane belief in the afterlife.

So, to reapply those symbols to my own experiences has been a challenge and I think I finally pulled it off. It's a combination of words that has never been used before to communicate an idea that is familiar yet original. It's not gibberish, but it's not normal. It's grandiose, but I'm also talking about large scale manufacturing done by many for the benefit of the few, so it isn't totally inappropriate. The things I was building, by the way, will last longer than the pyramids and are polluting every element to death.

Anyway, I like it. "...Chinese Pharaohs." It's got a nice ring to it and I was working for a Chinese CEO so it's sort of true. It's an accusation and a denouncement without coming out and being crude. It's poetic and damning. Or I like to think it is. That's what being a writer means to me.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.