12 Mar 2011

RE: Sei zeMar kdow nsOnCap su leAllThr ough outTheYear‏

by Corry Shores
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RE: Sei zeMar kdow nsOnCap su leAllThr ough outTheYear‏

Often, contraband messages get smuggled through our spam filters. Somehow the constructions communicate subversively, not in the sense of having subversive political messages or purposes, but subverting the codified efforts to block its flow. These bootlegged messages seem different than a secret code. We don't need a decoder to know the meaning. It just speaks to us in its devious way. It is stealth communication. The radars cannot read it, and it flies through the defenses. Our email boxes are not immune to these invasions, because language is immune to attempts at exhausting its meaning using mechanical methods. Language is a much more sophisticated machine. It can disassemble into a more heterogeneous and differential state. The message above seems incoherent. That is precisely its power. Its parts relate so differentially that the algorithms could not put them together into a whole coherent message.[1] But our eyes can. What might interest us is the self-differential process, how 'Seize Markdowns On Capsules All Throughout The Year' becomes 'Sei zeMar kdow nsOnCap su leAllThr ough outTheYear‏.' The parts that were combined do not usually fit together. The parts that were split would normally need to be touching. This is incoherence in two senses: the glue comes undone in some cases, and things that do not naturally glue together are forced into each other, despite their resistance to sticking together. We sometimes hear new slang terms from groups whose power is in the minority. They mostly use the same phonetics, often times the same words, perhaps in all cases the outer appearance of the slang term is something that fits in the language system of the majority power. But its meanings are not fully interpretable by those in the majority. Parents no matter the effort they invest often give up in exasperation trying to understand their teen children's lingo. Or people not accustomed to rap might be unable to discern any of its meanings, despite the rapper speaking entirely in that person's native language. These counterfeit words circulate through the normal currency, except unlike false money, bootlegged language is more valuable than the genuine marks. Slang terms have expressive power perhaps because they throw disruptions into the system, which they can do, because they are designed to pass freely within that system. When we hear a slang term we don't know, it seems like it is from a foreign language, but we know it is not from some language of a different part of the world. Slang is language originating among the parts of our system and circulating freely throughout the regimented ranks of all the other words, as if its subversive meaning wears an invisibility cloak.

[1] A new mechanical method could be devised to discern it, first by only placing spaces before capital letters. But the point is that the algorithms are created only after the invention of the new deformations, in a delayed response to them, hence at first the contraband messages will often get through the defense machinery.


  1. This is fascinating Corry; interesting and thoughtful, filled with ideas, and suggestive of numerous applications and possibilities! and thankyou for noting one of the recent fictions Time breathes .... On the run, Clifford

  2. And thanks as always for your continual production of stunningly beautiful poems that you give away freely, as if they were not some of the most valuable creations in language happening today. Of course they really are; you place language on its own cutting edge, and I am constantly inspired and influenced, and also it helps me understand language. You made some amazing things that I discuss in a recent entry, especially toward the end, the part on the implicit language world intensities in your 'turf' poem.