Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #22 (Dense Verbiage)

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December 1, 2009 by admin

“Good try, Jon Voight, John Turturro, and Dennis Miller, but the closest thing we’ve got to Howard Cosell right now is Alanis. Much like even non-football fans used to be mesmerized by Cosell’s genius for never using two words when 23 would do, you don’t have to be a love-damaged 17-year-old girl to find Under Rug Swept‘s dense verbiage a trip. Words tumble forth and arrange themselves kaleidoscopically into all sorts of unusual categories. Multi-Syllable We-Can’t-Even-Think-of-a-Word-That-Rhymes Words: ‘communicative,’ ‘connectedness,’ ‘reciprocity,’ ‘vacillated.’ D-Verbs That Nobody Ever Really Uses: ‘derive,’ ‘divulge,’ ‘dispel,’ ‘disarm,’ ‘discern’ (what, no ‘delineate’?). Support-Group Thanks-for-Sharing Words: ‘engage in dialogue,’ ‘provide forums,’ ‘conflict resolution,’ ‘playing the victim,’ ‘survival mode,’ ‘midlife crisis.’ Ambivalence-Is-Maybe-Possibly-a-Sign-of-Wisdom Words: ‘not necessarily,’ ‘supposed,’ ‘so-called,’ ‘essentially,’ ‘conditional.’ Alanis-Must’ve-Made-These-Up Words: ‘ungood,’ ‘arms-lengthing.’ Perfectly useful, a lot of them, and the point definitely isn’t that dumb is better or purer than smart. I’m just not sure that pop music should come out of a thesaurus. ‘(I Can’t Derive No) Satisfaction,’ ‘Thank You for Engaging in Dialogue With Me Africa,’ ‘A Person I’ve Been Spending Time With in a Romantic Way’s Back’ — the world’s a better place without them.”
– Phil Dellio, Thesaurus in My Pocket, Village Voice (2002)


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