January 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Posted in writing | 22 Comments
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In the interests of simplification I have decided to do away with one word each day. I shall choose a word each day to put away and never use again and in this way my life will become lighter and easier. The great ocean of language with its infinite directions, tides, texts, undertows, subtexts, overflows and contexts will be reduced gradually to a small pond fit only for late season herons in search of easy frogs.

It surprises many people that I am monosyllabic in person. When forced into conversation I feel like a slow animal laden with a great burden and I often go a whole week without saying anything other than please and thankyou to shopkeepers. Perhaps my peculiarly ornate writing style is an overcompensation for my tendancy to silence.

Now it is time to bring my typing into line with my speaking and by the end of the year there will be over three hundred less words from which to choose. By the end of my life perhaps I shall be down to only a handful. One should hang onto these dreams.

And so, the first word to be discarded forever. I have been thinking about it all day, flicking through favourites like pusillanimous and parsimonious, serendipity and consequence but for this act to be more than empty symbolism it should be a smaller word that I use more often. And I have decided, quite arbitrarily in the end, on the word ‘gravity’.

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