Words are the DNA of language. It's also commutative. A virus is a language.
on 10/27/04 6:45 PM, Carrol Cox at [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Francis Gavin wrote:
>> Because it moves and evolves and nests itself within the host objects
>> of culture and media like a virus. Because it starts with its own
>> context and eventually merges and recontextualizes. Because it
>> continues to exist in new tongues long after the speech in which it
>> originated has died yet the individual words continue to live and
>> often go on to mean something else.
>> Watch a new word or phrase grow and spread inside a culture. Some come
>> and go like a brief flareup, some mature and survive. Some lie dormant
>> for a long time within the nerves of our communications systems,
>> opportunistically waiting for a fresh outbreak.
> Quite an illuminating metaphor, but your first paragraph fits a language
> as a whole, your second paragraph suggests that words, expressions, even
> what Empson called feelings in words, are the viruses rather than
> "language" as such. Probably pushed much further the metaphor might
> start to clank. I'm sure your last sentence is correct, but off the top
> of my head I can't think of a good example just now. In a post on
> another list today I tried to make Pope's "profund" do some work, but I
> doubt that it did.