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The Age of the Absurd:

Howell Hurst Uncategorized

We have after centuries finally without any doubt whatsoever totally succeeded in constructing the famed Tower of Babble. Words have ceased to convey meaning. They serve instead the primary purpose of illuminating the bloated egos of impotent leaders. The higher the office speaking, the less meaning their words contain.

The practice has gone beyond simple lying. Words now do not even pretend to depict truth. Rather than defining tangible meaning, words now simply spin sounds insinuating intent, implying aimless points of reference, proposing never a real goal, but rather counterfeit drift toward a fraudulent sense of some indefinably slathered something.

A new American dictionary is needed, one to assist any foreign person visiting our shores – to help her or him in the learning of our peculiar English dialect. It won’t contain lots of words. Just a few to give a vague inkling of key subjects vital to understanding our culture, to help the visitor glean some tiny meaning from the incoherent sounds blathering down about her or his ears.

Here are just a handful of some new ABC’s relevant to our times.

Abaft: to reverse direction, to tend backward.

Abase: to degrade.

Abash: to make ashamed.

Abduct: to make off with or deny others of (something: such as logical reason), to hijack (again, something: such as duplicitous power.)

Babble: to utter meaningless words, to talk nonsense.

Backbite:  to speak ill of persons or things not agreeing with one’s own viewpoint.

Blarney: a snow job, twaddle, bunkum, flummery, bombast, hot air.

Cabal: a clique, a connivance, a scheme disguising real objectives.

Cajole: to pronounce blarney, to pander to a small like-minded group.

Calumniate: to insult, to slur, to sully, to hold up to scorn (usually others whom one does not agree with.)

These few words don’t pretend to summarize a comprehensive appreciation of our 21st Century American culture. They are but a few disconnected terms to provide a new visitor some vague sense of the complexity of American English in the age of the absurd.

This writer fervently hopes his initial word selection will launch at least a timid beginning, for any potential immigrant, of our curious language, indeed for any people whatsoever who may eventually choose (and are able!) to make their way to our country.

Of course, should any foreign visitors feel the need for more clarification, they may rest assured that each and every American stands ready to supply his or her personal examples to help the individual integrate into the opaque mishmash we consider our linguistic heritage.

We will not always agree on definitions, but that is not our American purpose. We are not here to seamlessly get along with one another. Our driving force, our perceived job, our guiding principle, our design, our motivation, indeed our very vindication, is just to entertain each other as we randomly consume everything we can get our hands on.

Welcome. Come join us. If you can.

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