Monday, July 30, 2007


Forgive me if the new usage 'transduction' appears to me an artefact of the attempt to appreciate change, and the problematic relation between universal and particular, without dialectics. Indeed most neologisms emerge from this refusal. The excuse for a new word is that it describes a new phenomenon. A new word does not create a new phenomenon: this was the Whorff-Sapir hypothesis, underpinning the utopian apolitical project of politically correct language. For good or ill the Western way is committed to distinction, and to the principle of Ockham's razor. Concepts should not be proliferated needlessly. What is required is not new terms but the redefinition of old ones. A new concept that cannot be named with the existing lexicon needs to name a new phenomenon or admit to inarticulacy. The curious condition of the English language in the age of its fragmentation is a wonderful moment when changing usage and articulation with global speech opens immense vistas without the needf to abandon the fluency which our bastard tongue already permits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about starting a new neologism contest, since the Washington Post has bowed out?