Thursday, October 26, 2006

An Uncontrollable Explosion of Word Combinations

I usually worry when I am posting about Google results, as usually it is something of a copout, blog-post-wise (though I would never (I hope) fall prey to the frequently intellectuo-despicable practice of forming a conclusion based on the comparative number of Google results for particular words that are usually held in contrasting esteem by the arguer) but in this case I am digging deeper into the topic, so to speak, so perhaps it is justified.

For better or for worse (I'll leave it to others, or myself later, to decide on this) it seems that we are exponentially/geometrically/measurably (and certainly uncontrollably) descending into an ever-widening chasm of word combination usage diversity - that is, with the explosion of publication that the explosion of electronic media allows (and encourages, I suppose) more and more long strings of words are being created and placed into our so-called common discourse. Before long it may be impossible to write something that truly seems original.

What's perhaps most remarkable is that, even given in the relative Infancy of our Internet, there are still relatively short word combinations that have not yet been taken up (as an example, the reason this topic was brought to my present attention was a search for the phrase "you don't have any logical excuse not to", a voiceover quote from Warren Miller's Snowriders 2, for which there were no internet results, although there is one unique result for "there's no logical excuse not to"). There's probably a simple mathematical analysis that would make quick work of explaining whatever idea I have just brought up, but on the other hand, isn't it more important that you readers are thinking about this idea than whether or not there is an explanation? (???) .

There are too many ways to go with this topic for me to even begin to continue (I actually, at this point, considered abandoning this entire entry in hopes of avoiding the appearance of woefully incomplete coverage of the subject but come on people, look at the last time I ever put anything up here) so I will merely ask you to consider a) plagiarism; b) patents (note, particularly, some recent article in some recent publication about patenting complicated and original tax advice (Apology to Readers: I have no interest in linking right now (I realize this is laziness bordering on a violation of blogojournalistic ethics; please forgive me))); c) the psychological impact of realized originality; and 4) the eventual meaninglessness of all human innovation (should there have been a comma (or nothing) instead of that last semicolon? This is one of the more frustrating questions of punctuational decisionmaking, in my experience).

So anyway, there you have it, or whatever.