Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
B. goes pretend shopping in the pretend grocery store. The other kids have carts; she takes a basket. Most of the shelves are lined with fake products—or empty packaging from real products, or pictures of things—then covered with plexiglass. Next to the things you can't have there is real shelf space for the pretend groceries—plastic bread, little cans, cartoon cheese wedges. The kids with carts race around filling them with mounds of pretend groceries. B. goes from shelf to shelf looking for something to put in her basket, but everything has been taken. You can see that her disappointment, every time she reaches instead for one of the other things, the ones that are not pretend but fake, not just gone but never available, is real. I wonder whether she's learned yet how to hide disappointment like that—to fake it.
'For fifty years, pop music was created and consumed like this: you heard a record on the radio, or read about it in a music paper; you bought it on Saturday; you lent it to, or taped it for, a friend; and they reciprocated with another record. It was a secret network. It was how you made friends, how you met girls, and how you soundtracked your world.'
'I've been cordially invited to join the visceral realists. I accepted, of course. There was no initiation ceremony. It was better that way.'
Another day flipped around, dark and bright hours circling, hopefully to come to rest.
'This specification covers the chemical requirements for wrought stainless steels used for the manufacture of surgical instruments. Classes of stainless steels covered here are Class 3 (austenitic stainless steel), Class 4 (martensitic stainless steel), Class 5 (precipitation hardening stainless steel), and Class 6 (ferritic stainless steel). The data contained in this specification, such as typical hardness values, common heat treating cycles, and examples of selected stainless steels that have been used for surgical instruments, are provided for reference only. Mechanical property, heat treatment, hardness, and all other requirements except for chemical composition, are governed by the appropriate material standards as specified or as agreed upon between purchaser and supplier.'
A Königsforst summer again, days like those from '08 or '09 or earlier (the whole time is indistinct to me, then a.b.d.). But the cool calm then was due to air-conditioned facilities; shoeless feet on my uncarpeted office floor. Now the weather is what cools, but uncharacteristically, as if it were not a passing but a permanent condition. Almost as if snow would be right to come tomorrow.
'Philosophers who think of themselves as explaining where Wittgenstein has left us, on the other hand, tend to see the destruction of the Cartesian problematic not simply as the debunking of a few pseudo-problems, but as transforming philosophy, and perhaps thought and life itself. For these writers, the destruction of the frame of reference common to Descartes and Kant is much more than the occasion for dismissing a few textbooks conundrums. It is something to be thought through over generations, as deeply and fully as men thought out the destruction of the Christian frame of reference common to Augustine and Newman.'