Unnaming All of Them
After she, formerly Eve, unnames all the wild and domesticated animals and all the pets so that wild and domesticated and petted are all one with each other as well as with her, she relates, “My words must be as slow, as new, as single, as tentative as the steps I took going down the path away from the house, between the dark-branched, tall dancers motionless against the winter shining.” In her short story, “She Unnames Them,” the science fiction writer Ursula Le Guin shows how a poetic language of gerunds, adjectives, and verbs comes to replace a taxonomy of nouns, names, and species.
Your Assignment for the Week
Your assignment—less rigorous, more prosaic, but no less educative than Le Guin’s poetic redescription—is to unclip yourself from the following set of terms. These include:
- “busy” & its friends (too busy, overwhelmed, stressed out, in a hurry, rushed, etc.)
- “sorry” & its friends (excuses, rescheduling, etc.)
- “lazy” & its friends (idleness, entertainment, etc.)
- “career” & its friends (career counseling, placement, advancement, retirement, etc.)
Unclip, unclip, unclip! And as you unclip, put on your describing hat.
Yes, curiosity killed the—furry sternum kneader. Still, I ask: what are your findings? Feel free to drop a note in my Contact form. It’s over yonder, up and to the right.
Looking for Extra Credit?
All right. Extra credit goes to those who avoid psychotherapeutic baggage entirely (to wit, normal, mental illness, paranoia, neurotic, narcissistic, depressed, projection, denial, repression, libido, etc.).