June 04, 2009

Fiction for a Thursday

Wyatt was a logophile who saw words as things of beauty and considered their communicatory function as crassly utilitarian.

He sprinkled the finest foreign words into his speech and pleasured himself by making up new ones that he felt were more descriptive and assonant. He was thought by neighbors as eccentric and unintelligible but regarded himself as an Emersonian individualist, not dependent on the Magisterium that is a language.

Before he became completely incomprehensible, he once argued that to re-use words in speech would devalue them, would cause people to take them for granted. Better not make them into mere coinage with which to swap gossip or business talk. He couldn't bear to see his beauties prostituted for such uses, and yet he holed himself up for long hours staring at a Scrabble-like screen of shapely offerings disconnected from their context or etymology or personal virtue. Constantly he left behind old words behind for new ones, treating them as they satisfied him.

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