Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How the user relates to the concept is contained 'within' the preposition, particularly agglutinative "preposition-verbs" (my favorites!) Much is revealed about the user's psyche. One of the most interesting is the verb "to overcome".

The preposition 'over' places the object beneath the subject. This position reveals the power dynamic between the two nouns. Power is exerted by the subject unto the object. There is a top-down, authoritarian impulse being displayed in this "preposition-verb". Were it a more egalitarian process, the word would be 'throughcome', or somesuch. The two ideas -- overcoming and throughcoming -- are vastly different. Overcoming is overtly masculine and controlling of one's destiny; throughcoming is feminine and subject to one's environment, situations, or other people.

Also, note the preposition-like nature of the verb "to come". The user is already at the destination, in a sense, and thus the 'overcoming' is predestined, but a formality. Were it otherwise, the word would be 'to overgo', or the egalitarian 'to throughgo'.

This analysis makes the transitive form of the verb 'to overcome' especially interesting, in that the form tends to be used in a passive sense; "He was overcome by the fumes." The passivity of this form makes the double positioning of the word quite ironic. There should, rightly, be no position of strength nor fate in a term of passivity. Thus: throughcome --> throughgo; but the term is past tense, so rightfully should be 'throughwent':

He was throughwent by the fumes.

I told you prepositions are the funnest part of speech!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I am currently reading Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus' and will be following that with 'Philosophical Investigations'. I also purchased a small book by Korzybski on Amazon. It's a strange tome: double-spaced, Times New Roman font and a flimsy cover that make it seem more like a grad school dissertation than a commercial publication.

Anyway, I suspect I will make an entry here soon. The last few months turned very unproductive, and I expect to pull out of the Seasonal Affective slump within the next month. I have several projects, including the reading, on the burner, which is usually a sign of a period of mild excitation and productivity. Hmm, I am talking about myself as though I am bipolar...

I am HIGHLY excited by these books. So excited that I can barely get through a paragraph before I drift off into reverie... which was common when I was younger.

I look forward to posting an update here soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I sense another post coming. FROM where, I know not. My vision of this blog is very gradually taking form, but it must take a distant second to my other writing, which does not accumulate quickly, either.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In and Out

I just got out of jail. I only did 24 hours, but for about 18 months I thought I had to do 90 days. The difference between doing one day in jail and doing 90 days in jail is more than a factor of 90. The disruption to my life for doing one day is almost non-existent.

While I was in there, just about to be released, I felt a sense of ease overcome me. I had been tense, since they did not give me my medications, and I didn't know really when I would be released. But when I was being processed for discharge I felt moments of relief. I asked a young man in a blue jumpsuit what the blue meant. He said it meant he was out of quarantine. I wore an orange jumpsuit, which meant I was in quarantine. I said I thought it meant he was a "trustee" or something. He said, "Hell, no. I'm a convict, not an inmate."

It was a statement of identity, like Korzybski talks about. There were no prepositions. There was no movement in the concepts or nouns. He is one thing, and is not its opposite. He outlined his worldview in six words. He was a convict <------ not an -------> inmate. They are mutually exclusive and oppositional identities.

But this blog is about prepositions, not identities. (Prepositions <------ not ------> identities)

I was IN jail. Not OUT of jail. What made me IN jail and not OUT of the "outside"? Well, for one thing, the outside is bigger. When we go outside, we're in the same outside as people in China. So why are we not INSIDE the atmosphere of the planet? Perspective. We don't have a post-planetside perspective as yet. Our language assumes a planetside worldview. (Outside = "out" <-----> Inside = "in") That may change when space travel becomes more common.

There's something else about jail. It's more "in" than most places. It has bars and locked gates and doors, creating a greater "in-ness" than in most "in" places. It is highly regimented and controlled. The CO's are mean and paternalistic. In most people, the in-ness of jail creates a world of separation, but in the institutionalized, it creates a sense of identity, belonging, security, that they do not have outside. When no one cares for you, belonging through incarceration fulfills a need.

He was a convict, not an autonomous human being.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My fascination with the preposition, which I think is the most interesting part of speech, began as a gradual realization that it is the most conceptual element in the average sentence. Disregarding specific grammatical ordering, most simple sentences look something like this:

{Subject noun}{verb}{preposition}{object noun or noun phrase}.

Adjectives and adverbs can be added as descriptors, but the most basic sentence contains at least the elements I've listed. Of those elements, all could potentially be considered 'conceptual language', meaning that it could be part of a construct, or conceptual model, and not necessarily referring to a 'concrete' object or process.

Not all simple sentences need a preposition. Some are simply a noun and verb: "I wrote." Without an object, however, that sentence doesn't say very much, unless it's a reply in the context of a discussion. The sentences needs a prepositional phrase to be of much value as a declarative sentence.

Sentences that contain 'direct objects' don't have prepositions, either: "I ate an apple." These sentences tend toward the less abstract. They convey specific information, but of the more concrete variety.

The subject noun could be conceptual, and not concrete, in nature, if it is a pronoun, or if it is an abstraction, or a 'process as object'. An "-ism" is an example of a conceptual noun. I won't spend much time on that topic here. Perhaps I will in a later entry.

The verb could be conceptual if it references a hypothetical action, or a conceptual action. Some conceptual sentences use a verb as a 'state of being': "I stand alone." In this case, the verb "stand" is not meant literally.

It could also be highly metaphorical: "The idea ran through my mind." Again, I might spend more time on these ideas later.

That leaves the preposition. Though other parts of speech may be conceptual in nature, I would argue that the preposition is always conceptual. The purpose of this part of speech is to provide a direction, a perspective, and in so doing provides a sense of motion. The subject may be the destination, but the preposition is the journey. Something is going 'to' something, or coming 'from' something. Something can be 'above' something, or 'by' something, or 'under' something, or 'around' something, or myriad other relative positions.

Since I've not published anything on this blog for months, I will leave it at that for now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#1: On

Welcome to the first installment of 'The Almighty Preposition'. This is not the first blog I've ever attempted; I tried to write one about seven or eight years ago, when blogging first got into second gear. I lasted about 10 minutes. I didn't see any future in the medium -- I guess I underestimated the importance of self-indulgence.

So, here I am *ON* the internets again, *ON* a blog again. I am also *ON* Ambien again. That stuff is no joke. It may be my ruin. I just smoked my first cigarette in four months because the Ambien told me to. I better not be back *ON* the tobacco by tomorrow! That's all I have to say about that for now.

The preposition is one of the most important parts of speech, and I plan to highlight one preposition, and demonstrate its importance and usage in every blog entry. It could work! What don't I have that 'Hot For Words' has?

Anyway, this blog was inspired by Megan as a way to begin writing, an effort I've been agonizing over for far too long. Herein lies the benefit of self-indulgence. I am pinning my career hopes *ON* a process that nurtures my own sense of self-importance.

You have to go in to the forest before you can start coming out of it.

I think tomorrow's topic is in there somewhere. Can you spot it?