Saturday, September 27, 2003

Have you ever established a code language - a simple one that sits on top of regular speech but can quickly communicate some other intended meaning?

For example, you might call a friend in the middle of a date and agree on a prescribed code. You ask her if she can make it to your party tomorrow. If she says she'll be late then the date is horrible. If she will be early, the date is going spectacular. If she'll be there extra early and might even bring over some dessert and help you cook, well....

On a darker note, I've had friends tell me that if they ever, for example, start talking about mangosteens in the middle of the conversation, then that means they have been kidnapped and I should call 911.

I can imagine taking this to an extreme. Each word or phrase also means a different word or phrase. Each action like the heavy thud of steps and each object, like an onion or a mirror, is also an element of a phrase whose conjunction writes a different story. (This might be like the opus-2 language of Chris Pressey in which deep red means to glorify and mothballs are the sign of danger.)

In a world in which every action has intentional meaning, most people must seem either like stuttering fools or like the creators of surreal collages (and you stare dumbfoundedly, head half-cocked, like a puzzled dog.) The graceful aesthete may go unnoticed by the rest of the world but you, with your intentional language, can pick him right out. Everyone else, for example, might only see a guy with a green shirt spilling his coffee on a small pile of books. But, to you, it is sublime poetry.

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