This is a poem I wrote in 2009 when the English language reached its one millionth word. I was very excited in the build-up as newspapers and linguists around the world placed bets on what that pinnacle official word would be. Then it came. The 1,000,000th word in the English language was...
So I wrote this in response and I share it with you today.
Web Two Point Zero
How did we get here
From one word to a million.
How we say this and that
Gone are the rules in this word game
So that nothing ever remains the
And wakes the dictionary.
It opens and finds a space,
As the world explores
And pours in more
So out of our mouths
It becomes commonplace.
When the grandfather cradles
A baby just born
He knows in another century
His meaning will have torn;
But that this little miracle
Will understand enough to say
Those words he knew
In a different way.
He feels sad how changes speak
Across years and countries
As new senses they seek:
Ones he will not realise,
Words he will not say,
Meanings he will never meet.
Years later, after a million more
His great great granddaughter listens, abhors,
To the children in their virtual world
As they compurite and intereed
And never ink or paper need.
She shakes her head and reaches for
The secret in her bureau drawer:
Those golden letters, they never faded,
Neither his words inside those pages.
She reads and delights in joined letters,
Painstaking care to get it right
And no disgusting number in sight.
So two remains two and too as well
Not like now, she’ll sadly tell
Her own grandchildren and she will let them see
Her great great grandfather’s life-long diary.
First one was born because it was the first
Words followed from a naming thirst
And to a million we have now arrived
The most amount of meaning ever survived.
But before we drop our heads to charge on,
To pass another inevitable million
We must remember words are more than letters strung
And they started with a meaningful
To read other writes on the prompt WORD or the other of this week's prompts, SICK visit:
The news article when, for some, this language crossed that million word barrier: