Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


Ontology recapitulates philology

Once upon a time, there was a word, but there was no one to speak of, and so the word was all by itself, and so the word said itself.
All the same, it's the word that was spoken of at the time, so it's said.
Everything was said by the word; and it goes without saying that what wasn't said was utterly silent.
In a word, it was all that could be said, when all's said and done, as the saying goes.
And it had all been a blank page, but the word emerged from inky darkness into the light. And it was all there in black and white, but it should be understood, it wasn't understood.
And the word wanted to be heard, to be understood, so it sent for an envoy, and it was given to the envoy to spread the word.
All the same, the word was not for the envoy; the envoy was sent to bear word.
Let it also be understood that the envoy was not the word; the envoy was sent, and through the envoy was word sent.
That was how the word came to light.
So it was that the word got out; but it was not known what to make of it.
The word came into its own, but it was not heard.
But those of us that heard were given to understand that solemn word had been given, even as we'd heard.
Word that was not given lightly, and not to be borne lightly, we were given to understand.
And the word embodied meaning, and we dwelt on its meaning, in all its nuance.
The envoy came forward, saying, that's the word of which I spoke, word must have preceded me; for the word comes first.
And of its meaning are we apprised, in all its nuance.
For letters may come by envoy, but meaning comes embodied by the word.

PS: A shout-out to goofy for putting words together at the source.


What's in a 'nym?

Attn Conservation Notice: nominal self-indulgence, vainly attempting to explain myself.

nnyhav: six characters in search of a rationale: My moniker was not of my own making. It was assigned to me as a login ID by my then employer, and when I registered to use the New York Times website 15 years back, it was picked up automagically, so when I joined their Books Forum chat, the handle stuck. It became set in stone after discussion there on Brian Boyd's book, Nabokov's Pale Fire, caught his eye, from which he extracted (and cited, by name and nick, with permission) comments for a follow-up article, "Azure Afterimages", in a millenial turn in Nabokov Studies #6. So having been 'outed' in print, and later on-line (on the Nabokov listserv with reference to this here blog), I dropped any pretense of pseudoanonymity (not that I thought it could be indefinitely maintained). I'd meanwhile backronymmed nnyhav into "no New Yorker has a view", playing upon both the widely-held non-opinionation of the locals and the reservation of upper floors for out-of-towners. It's also in the middle of Sunnyhaven, and if you transpose the first letter to the end, in the middle of Copenhagen. Making ornaments / of accidents and possibilities ...

Life Everlasting—based on a misprint!: Even in Usenet's pre-Sempitember days I knew the persistence of memory would make me accountable for my words, and their distortion for lack of context, long after any relevance had passed, tempering my temper even in seemingly ephemeral chat-rooms, knowing that prospective employers might take umbrage. My internets handle seems sufficiently unattractively random to garner competition (never unavailable as domain name), but over the past year my blog-title has strangely been appropriated for trash-sites pushing technical analysis for foreign exchange trading (chartists sure ain't what they used to be—it's a jargon-crazy enterprise, "stochastics" having nothing to do with randomness); kindafunny in that I once plied that trade myself, publishing on behalf of a FCM in Chicago 20+ years back (ntm the prevalence of lit in translation hereabouts). Buttle the most persistent misattribution is to my given name, by way of typo (once amongst many mentions), in an entry sure to be red-flagged (not redacted) by any competent HR information retriever (until it got buried beneath all the social network references). (My father suffered the converse: at the pinnacle of his career, his foresighted analysis of railroad reconfiguration put his name in headlines on the front page of the Wall Street Journal—misspelled.)

Perhaps this goes some way towards explaining my interest in proper names, and in what Nabokov made of them, as well as of improprieties. On the other hand, I've never really been very good with names ...