Posts Tagged ‘Dictionary Expansions’

As I mentioned yesterday, for my lecture at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, I created new examples of both the Spell Check Technique and dictionary expansions. Here’s the DE one.

I started with the following text:

The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. (—Samuel Beckett’s Murphy, 1938, opening sentence)

I then looked up all the nouns, verbs, and adjectives:

  • sun: a self-luminous heavenly body
  • shine: shed or cast light
  • have: to possess
  • alternative: a possible or remaining course or choice
  • nothing (adj): amounting to nothing, as in offering no prospects for satisfaction, advancement, or the like
  • new (noun): something that is new > something that is of recent origin, production, purchase, etc.; having but lately come or been brought into being

Replacing the original words with their definitions yielded:


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For my lecture last week at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, I created another example of the Spell Check Technique. I started with this text:

By the end of my fourteenth year, when I should have been playing the ocarina or slurping chawanmushi, I was instead intimate with the intestinal tremors of a cowardly dot-com intern filching mustard packs from the office canteen sans asking. All winter long we followed others’ elks without caring that they were others’. In a former day and age, e.g., during my thirteenth year, I knew whose elks were whose and would not have tolerated confusion. (from my novel Giant Slugs, Lawrence and Gibson 2011)

Running the technique generated the following vocabulary list:

byte norm forte entry archon should have exempla ninth eucharis nears burping chaw an mushier basins tea din tomato width feints tonal remorse of cow aridly outcome intern lichen gusto repack from Hoffa secant insane siskin galley nitro ngwee lowed others elks tout airing hat the were theirs uniform redeye adage during mythic rent hear knew seek sewer hose an would notched extoller ate co infusion from giants aglow rouse nudges on

Which I used to write the following:


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Me, lecturing. Photo by Caroline Picard.

Last week was such a busy one for me that I forgot to mention that I was giving a lecture at Co-Prosperity Sphere. This was part of a mini-symposium organized by Lily Robert-Foley, Location/Location: The Mistranslation of Objects, which was part of the show Field Static, curated by Caroline Picard and Devin King. The other symposium participants were Meredith Kooi, Laura Goldstein & Brett Balogh, Gene Tanta, and T. Siddle.

I had promised to talk about “Conceptual Writing’s Aesthetic and Political Commitments,” but instead I presented two of my recent HTMLGIANT “generating text” posts: “The Spell Check Technique” and “Dictionary Expansions.” You can see photos from the event here.

Field Static will be up through 13 June, and includes work by Rebecca Mir, Carrie Gundersdorf, Heather Mekkelson, Ellen Rothenberg, Stephen Lapthisophon, Christian Kuras, Duncan MacKenzie, Mark Booth, and my former roommate Justin Cabrillos. Co-Prosperity Sphere is open on Sundays from 1-4 and by appointment.

The show in the space. Photo by Caroline Picard.

Thanks, Lily, Caroline, and Devin! And congrats, Caroline & Devin! I still think you should hyphenate your surnames: “King Picard”!

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