Recovering from a Case of the One-Hand Clap

Montreal, April 20, 1999

To the Editors

Oxford University Press

Oxford English Dictionary Dept.

Dear Sirs;

In my capacity as Ko-acting Inner-Node (KIN) on the educational network for the Language of Intermogular Space-Time (LIST), I am reminding you of our letter of a year ago, copied also to l'Academie Francaise, proposing new dictionary entries which would twin those current entries prefixed by 'co', connoting mutual harmony, such as 'cooperation', --- the twinned entries being formed by replacing the 'co' prefix with an expectant underscore, viz. the twin for 'cooperate' would become '_operate'. These extensions to our vocabulary would recognize those increasing usage instances where either the subject or object in a mutually realized experience such as 'cooperation' co-opts, or rather ' _opts' the actual experience into a mono-polar '_operation' variant.

The problematic association of mono-polar experience with di-polar word usage has become particularly evident in recent times in the field of global business and politics. As in the eastern tradition of 'yin/yang', we at LIST feel that words intending to convey natural di-polarity should themselves manifest the needed dimensionality for the job, this being achievable by endowing them with an evolutional aspect. This proposed usage, we compared to the French usage of 'vous' et 'tu', and to the German 'Sie' und 'du' etc. where, by comparison, one would use the underscored form of a 'co' prefixed word as the initial default, and restrict the use of the prefixed form to situations where the co-resonant (harmonic or di-polar) aspect was manifestly 'felt' by the participants.

In light of a breakthrough in co-resonance research at our laboratories here in Quebec, we should like to propose an additional new word, but first, allow me to explain the breakthrough.

Certain _munity leaders here, in pursuing the growth of local product exports, asked us to conduct co-resonance experiments relevant to guitar design, in support of their proposal for the provincially-financed production of a five-string guitar, to be followed over the longer term by instruments possessing 4, 3, 2 and ultimately a single string. The hypothesis was that these instruments would accrue a competitive advantage in the marketplace by being capable of generating purer sounds.

The starting assumption in our research is that the understanding of co-resonance phenomena is inhibited by the use of the culturally standard 'mogular' space and linear time paradigm within which we perceive design problems in terms of 'bumps' or moguls departing from the norm, ... and that by switching to an intermogular space-time design approach and refocusing on the harmonic passageways in the co-dynamical voice-listener interface, the duo can exploit 'moguls' as pivots, transforming them from impediments to enablers. This I-S-T approach exploits the natural topodynamical characteristic of volumetric space in that the observer can concentrate on either of two reciprocal realms; ... the realm of 'inner-space' where the behavior of 'things' is important, or the realm of 'outer-space', the thing-immersing space in which 'inter-thing co-dynamics' are the focus.

Building on this guiding framework, our guitar experiments commenced by inserting a laboratory transducer in through the sound-hole of our test guitar to monitor the 'inner-space' resonances, and replicating this configuration in 'outer-space', co-mmensurate with our I-S-T research standards.

What we found was that if we progressively tensioned and plucked the strings on an individual basis, the inner-space transducer showed the tonal resonance for each string progressing from poor to good tonal quality, thus defining a 'sweet spot' at some particular tension for each string. But as the _munity leader requesting the study had implied, these multiple 'inner space' sweet spot tunings did not coincide with the 'outer space' harmonic requirements of the listener and one could not avoid a blending of good and bad resonances, ... a situation which was exacerbated in proportion to the number of strings. The general principle followed that; .... "with instruments of more than one string, resonance optimums must necessarily be sacrificed in either voice-space or listener-space or both. " (except in the limiting case where the dipolar configuration is 'mono-polized' by eliminating either the listener or the voice).

In preparing our research report, however, we found that we had no appropriate word for the experience of our musician-reviewer team whose exploration for appealing co-resonances yielded what they referred to as 'surprises' which grew in proportion to the number of strings, and furthermore, that while these 'sweet spot surprises' could be agreed on and described via qualitative nuance, ... they could by no means be ranked in a linear 'better' or 'worse' progression, being perceived more in the vein of 'children' from the union of two uniquely resonating parents. In reviewing videotapes of the experiment, we did however, note a correlation between the facial expressions and actions of the reviewers, both amongst themselves and with the 'sweet spots'.

After reflecting on these results, the basic geometry of which seems to characterize the general co-experiential situation, and in view of the public's great _munications dependency on the terms 'progress', 'better' and 'worse', we felt it appropriate to propose a new dictionary word-entry with sufficient dimensionality to connote the 'surprising child' aspect of 'multi-dimensional harmonic growth'. In this case, the word-design proposed is one where the sense of the word derives firstly from articulation-based signalling (co-mmunication) and only secondly from the 'literal meaning' of the word-in-itself, or the '_municative' value of the word. In other words, the characterization of harmonic growth, as distinct from 'progress', would seem to entail a word-design wherein sense would be conveyed by putting co-mmunication in a primacy over _munication, ... a primacy which is the reciprocal of the current cultural norm. Operationalizing a word with appropriate dimensionality could resolve commonly experienced ambiguity where two successive states of a multi-dimensional system are simultaneously appraised by different reviewers as 'better' AND 'worse' due to their different weighting of the system's multiple dimensions.

Our proposed word, intended to subsume the 'mono-polar' word 'progress' is ... 'boogadd', .... formed by interspersing the letters of the words 'good' and 'bad'. In articulating the word 'boogadd', the initial syllable 'boog', reminiscent of 'boogie' should prompt the speaker to rhythmic action appropriate to the nature of the harmonic growth and the final syllable 'add' should prompt his articulative intensity appropriate to the significance of the harmonic growth. You will note that 'progress' is the special case of 'boogadd' where the number of surprises or 'emergent children' experienced goes to zero.

If this proposal should be received co-resonantly, our co-operative efforts could lead to significant boogadd ~~^^~~ in improving the dimensionality of our language. If your response is in the affirmative, might we request that any formal statement _municating the acceptance of the new words for your next Dictionary revision, be withheld until June 11th, the anniversary of the death of our founder, Major Peter Labelliere, a brief history of whom is appended.

Reciprocally Yours,

Pierre Labelliere,

Ko-acting Inner Node for LIST

~~^^~~ LIST_EN ^^~~^^ ..... to LIST... the Educational Network

for the Language of Intermogular Space-Time.



Peter Labelliere was born in 1726 and, after leaving the 92nd Foot as a Major, he came to Dorking and became friends with the Duke of Devonshire. This friendship was reputed to have resulted in a pension of _100.00 a year and an invitation to spend a month every year at one or other of the Duke's estates. As he got older he became more eccentric and some of this has been put down to an unrequited love affair with one Hetty Fletcher. He followed politics closely and was a very religious man, to the extent that he would not allow his landlady's children to burn any paper containing the name of God or Christ. He spent the end of his life in lodgings in South Street, and when he died in 1800 [buried June 11th], he left two specific wishes which need to be complied with. Firstly, his landlady's two youngest children should dance on his coffin to show that there should be rejoicing at death and not mourning, but only the son would do this as the daughter thought it inappropriate [she sat on the edge of his coffin and celebrated]. His second wish was that he should be buried vertically, on his head, on the top of Box Hill. His reasoning was that, in a topsy turvy world, he would be the only one to end up the right way round! Needless to say his burial was well attended and for years afterwards, local people would celebrate the day by dancing and picnicking on/by his grave.

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