From the Editor

John Turner

In this number we begin a new feature which will appear in the Editor's panel each week. The initial entry comes here in the note, but in the future it will be a separate item.

Each week it will consist of ten entries from Sanitas: A Lexicon for the 21st Century. We'll start at "A" and go right through to bottom.

You'll have to decide for yourself what the nature of these definitions are. As you'll see, they are not what you will find in the normal dictionary. On the other hand, each one tries to tell us something about a word that often doesn't get consciously recognized.

As with all our features in the Harvard Square Commentary, we invite response from readers to this one.

Here are the first ten:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: Organization dedicated to the proposition that God is perversely related to whiskey, beer, and other popular beverages.

  • Abalone:  A big clam served as a delicacy in California restaurants until it was all eaten up.

  • Abduction:  The sucking of people off the face of the earth into space ships so aliens can monkey around with their private parts.

  • Ableism:  A concept almost too silly to be thought about.

  • Abreaction: An inflated notion about the utility of popping off.

  • Absorbed:  Condition of a woman peering into her own purse.

  • Abortion:  The killing of a thing whose nature cannot be agreed upon, that grows inside a human uterus.

  • Abelard:  Man who became a monk somewhat through necessity.

  • Aberrant:  Denunciatory adjective used by fundamentalist clergymen who have recently taken a college course.

  • Above:  Indicating a spacial relationship which has been forbidden between persons in a democratic society.

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Harvard Square Commentary, February 19, 2007