Friday, April 22, 2011

Loose Talk -- The Problem of "Of" and "The Peculiar Age"

I was trying to think of a good term for our current times, something along the lines of "The Age of Reason." We live in unusual times, somewhat exceptional and peculiar. So I tried it all, The Age of Unusual, The Age of Exceptionalism, The Age of Peculiarity. Then it hit me: why do we need the word "of" so much? Why don't we just call ourselves "The Peculiar Age?" I think it works. It meets the standards.... we are peculiar and have been so for some time, and we are likely to be so for a while ("age" qualification).
     The word "of" works as both a crutch (sort-of, kind-of, you can hear the limp) and as a clarifying glue. It is, misused,  bad cholesterol in word form, clogging our information highways with excess bits. Take it out, and be free of "of," I dare you. Many words are suggested by their absence, and "of" could be one of those words if we let it. It already happened long ago, being shortened to O'. Go all the way. Age innocence, Joan Ark, Mice and Men, Kind, Sort, Course. If you say the words often enough, you will come to realize the of has become a ghost, ever present, but only visible in the mind's crazy eye.

In truth, like bad cholesteral, it serves a vital function, and the trick is to use of in limited amounts, not try to kill it. Take it from a word addict. Course you can.

Now, back to the age thing, using "of" as we wish... more ideas
The Age of Increasing Age
The Age of Guilt
The Age or Really Good Times
The Age of Socks (think about it, this one is good. At one time we didn't have socks and I'm sorry to inform you, but at one time socks will be gone).
The Age of Inventive Seasonings
The Age of Perfection
The Age of Pretty Good (Minnesota Joke)
The Age of War
The Age of Warm
The Age of Escapism
The Age of Complicity
The Age of Winning
The Age of The Future
The Age of Cool (wishful thinking)
The Age of Enormity
The Age of More
The Age of Most
The Age of Lots of Crap
The Age of Mold
The Age of Mould (trying to be inclusive here)
The Age of Mike (sooner or later some guy named Mike will be in charge, so why not?)
The Age of Young (ooh, house of mirrors)

So...reply if you are inspired with your own "age," but act your age.

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