Monday, August 4, 2008

Any Word Can Be a Magic Word

If intoned in the proper spirit, any word can be a magic word. In The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life (1997), Thomas Moore notes that “we may evoke the magic in words by their placement, . . . rhyme, assonance, intonation, emphasis, and, as [mythologist James] Hillman suggests, historical context.” Even the mundane connotations of the words we use depend frequently on the many details of their packaging. The more essential the responsibilities we intend for a given word, the more we depend on the magic of its presentation. A “key” word should enjoy a flourish as it is revealed. We should draw it forth like a prestidigitator who, with great drama, produces an egg from his mouth.

1 comment:

Gordon said...

Love this observation. And, enjoying the thought of speaking a magic word to produce an egg from the mouth. "Hmbrmmrakadmmbramm" comes to mind. :)