“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice…
Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us
To purify the dialect of the tribe
And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight”
Sometimes I think life is just an unveiling of Little Gidding. History is now and Waco, after all, a choice of pyre of pyre and the movement towards the unity of the fire and the rose…
It’s been a practice for a while now to recognize those words commonly used in popular discourse that have been evacuated of any meaning (or any meaning that means anything) and declare a moratorium on them for their own sake. Pounds, with Eliot following, have taught the importance of charging every word its meaning and this is an attempt to do likewise, no doubt with less precision. It is a task of refining language by fire, throwing words so ravaged into an interim Gehenna, a resistance from further savage vulgarization, which, it is hoped, will allow a modest restoration.
Certain words in our current setting should not be used at all, and they will go without saying. Declaring a moratorium on them would be superfluous. They are in changeless pandemonium. Other words, however, are not immutably reprobate. These are the words for which this purgatory exists, wherein inferno sharpens and hope has not yet ceased.
As an aside, it should be noted that this space exists not only for particular words, but also phrases, idioms, words used all too often in conjunction with one another, and really any other particularities in language that seem to have lost meaning.