"In a Word, a World" by C.D. Wright:
I love them all.
I love that a handful, a mouthful gets you by, a satchelful can land you a job, a well-chosen clutch of them could get you laid, and that a solitary word can initiate a stampede, and therefore can be formally outlawedeven by a liberal court bent on defending a constitution guaranteeing unimpeded utterance. I love that the Argentine gaucho has over two hundred words for the coloration of horses and the Eskimo a flurry of words for snow. More than the pristine, I love the filthy ones for their descriptive talent as well as transgressive nature. I love the dirty ones more than the minced, in that I respect extravagant expression more than reserved. I admire reserve, especially when taken to an ascetic nth. I love the particular lexicons of particular occupations. The substrate of those activities. The nomenclatures within nomenclatures. I am of the unaccredited school that believes animals did not exist until Adam assigned them names. My relationship to the word is anything but scientific, it is a matter of faith on my part, that the word endows material substance, by setting the thing named apart from all else. Horse, then, unhorses what is not horse.
(Photo of librarian Dr. Sarah Thomas placing a book on a shelf following the arrival of the one millionth book at the Bodleian Book Storage Facility in Swindon, England. Comprising 154 miles of shelving the purpose built facility which opened three months ago to house items from the University of Oxford's Bodleian library will eventually hold over 6.5 million volumes. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.