The Search for the Perfect Word
Dissecting the odd and awed sources in the spoken language of our common use.
By Tom Sheehan
Whither Thou Goest, or Went
(or onto goulash we turn, by need or deed, as dictated by odd and awed sources in the spoken language of our common use):
Writing a Foreword for an issue that includes a work of your own, prompts a writer to seek the brother-bond, the club-house joy, the duet-voice of another soul searching for whole messages by the addition of one word at a time, a brick at a time in a wall at a time, looking for the lone or hidden word to complete the next text piece in line, hoping to find the same soul in another soul looking back at you, a mirror-host, a new voice in an old body, a replication whose thirst for words is endless, is the same as yours, or, indeed, surmounts it.
This search for one word you think is the perfect fit, fits the goulash that abounds for this use, the market, we dare agree, is huge, centuries in the making, lives in the making, books bound or loose for the fitting.
Your own history leaps at you as your eye searches these entries, this content, for the next guaranteed word swiped from the aisle or stall of deli, bakery, produce, dairy sections, to be in a place in this very sentence you are trying to exalt; brave soul daring to believe you will find it, in your mind, in a piece of this issue as a spot that says, “It shall be here, the next perfection of thought, this now on-going sentence, this paragraph, this story or this poem, this mixture, this potpourri bound to be: there is no other word to fix this space.
All the differences we know, what read seen, what heard spoken, the massed diversions of use as old as man, as different as his speech, as his goulash:
- In cooking, goulash is a rich stew, originating in Hungary, made of beef, lamb, or veal highly seasoned with paprika.
- In Bridge, goulash is a method of dealing in threes and fours without first shuffling the cards, to produce freak hands
- In adapted current use, or slang, goulash represents a hodgepodge; or a jumble or collection of things not necessarily connected.