Texting prunes our language, while

Twitter compartmentalizes our thoughts.

The working dialectic is a leafless tree –

pollarded, with inadequate adjectives,

resulting in smooth grey bark.


Modern language does us a disservice,

when you tell me of your workplace woes –

the meaning spans a library of potential,

from gently anxious to freaking out.


The beauty of our mongrel tongue

is usually found in perspicuous specificity.

from talweg to tor, the susurrus of gab

should give us the perfect word –

or at least a pleasurable dictionary fumble.


Stress is barren, with anxiety, tension,

and a small set of engineering terms,

practically lifted from a command prompt.

In our lives of sweaty plastic keys

and accelerating expectations,

we need a new lexicon of stress.

Some ideas:


Smoos – lightly frazzled, but everything is under control,

is cute and fuzzy, but slightly uncomfortable,

like an Ikea office chair.


Garbleforp – can’t keep up, keep getting buried,

is a velarized stumble, dropping a stack of files

and needing a cry.


Damfrigizt – freaking out with anger and fear overtones,

a tautology more than a minced oath,

best said under the breath and repeatedly, as a koan.


Umberwold slows us down, it’s too much to even try.

Let’s just pretend the power went out and turn off the server.

And lie on the floor in the cold room, rebooting.


A few starters to share, pass the meme.

we are name-givers after all,

and with a lexis of stress,

a precise understanding,

we will be able to rise above it

to have nuanced strategy and tactics.


The Inuit didn’t idly coin their snowy terminology,

they make their words work for a living.

In English our history of violence is tediously long,

with an associated richly evocative

and distressingly poetic word-hoard.

But the balance to the cruelty is a dictionary

of amends and amity.


It is hard to see a dagger in the emails.

The slow building of adrenaline from cubical-drama

doesn’t share the same threat as an axe-handed invader.

But both we can better understand

when we give it a name, and pause,

considering our enemy.


Chris Hardy is a designer in the San Francisco studio.


Back to Top
Chris Hardy

Posted by in Uncategorized on

Be the first to comment

Share this post

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)