They mean one thing to one person, another thing to another person; they are unintelligible to one generation, plain as a pikestaff to the next. And it is because of this complexity that they survive. Perhaps then one reason why we have no great poet, novelist or critic writing to-day is that we refuse words their liberty. We pin them down to one meaning, their useful meaning, the meaning which makes us catch the train, the meaning which makes us pass the examination. And when words are pinned down they fold their wings and die.
June 9, 1932: The Zeppelin railway coach, or “Lightning Express,” could carry 40 passengers at 100 miles per hour in tests near Hanover, Germany. The caption notes, however, “its ability to take curves remains to be tested.” Photo: The New York Times
1. Underwear is definitely pants.
2. All you need to be a writer is talent.
3. My talent and its demands protect me from the responsibilities of normal people.
4. I’m almost done.
5. When I’m not engaged in the process of writing, I’m thinking about writing, therefore I am writing.
6. My writer’s block protects me from humiliating myself.
7. I don’t care that my frenemy from grad school got a million dollars for that literary crossover novel.
8. I don’t care that I got a million dollars for my literary crossover novel. I’m going to just keep it real. This doesn’t change anything for me. You know.
9. I don’t need to back up my computer.
10. Publishing this book will change my life.
11. I’m not going to get caught up in all that publicity stuff.
12. I’m only on social media because I have to be to promote X.
13. I’m only going to go on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr for a few more minutes.
14. I need a MFA.
15. I don’t need a MFA (and no one else does either).
16. If you put something on the Internet, no one will read it.
17. If you put something on the Internet, everyone will read it.
18. Writing for free for that website will help me get my name out there.
19. I don’t need a contract for this.
20. I don’t need an agent for this.
21. My agent is ignoring me!