While reading this article in The New Yorker, I experienced a pang of angst as sharp as a knife. How much I love words has overwhelmed me. I know what Luddites are, but this is the first time I have come to understand in an immediate and personal way that they are attacking me, that all the stuff they are against, that stuff is the air that I breathe. Words are, to use Rilke’s phrase, the “rind, rondure, and leaf” of my being. The beauty of a turning phrase. How the tongue delights on the rhythm of words, and the mind on their improbably origins.
So, what shall we make of this:
“The most revealing moment happened earlier, when she was asked about Obama’s attack on McCain’s claim that the fundamentals of the economy are sound. ‘Well,’ Palin said, ‘it was an unfair attack on the verbage that Senator McCain chose to use, because the fundamentals, as he was having to explain afterwards, he means our workforce, he means the ingenuity of the American people. And of course that is strong, and that is the foundation of our economy. So that was an unfair attack there, again, based on verbage that John McCain used.’ This is certainly doing rather than mere talking, and what is being done is the coinage of ‘verbage.’ It would be hard to find a better example of the Republican disdain for words than that remarkable term, so close to garbage, so far from language. ”
I think I want to cry.