the invention of language

The other day while walking to work I noticed this funny safety sign:


And one thing we have lost — the courage to make new words or combinations.  Somewhere that old bravado slipped off into a gangrened scholarship.  Oh! you can make words if you enclose them in quotation marks.  This indicates that it is dialect and cute.  — Steinbeck

Also, Sandra and I were at Spoonbill and Sugartown and she pointed this out:

sleeping kittens

which was cute enough, but it also reminded me of one of San’s favorite phrases: litter of kittens.  Here are my top three favorite phrases:

thin wrists

pulled pork


(One word I really don’t like is blog.)  I started a list of them after reading Cheever’s “The World of Apples”, whose protagonist, the poet Asa Bascomb, spends his life searching for the inevitable pairing of words.  My friend Matt told me about the story, and some of his favorite phrases are loose leaf paper and boiled wool.

More favorite phrases:

clipper ship

hotel lobby

three-card monte

looms large

spun sugar

clams casino

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