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8 Nov

A Word Cloud Is Worth 49 Words

wordle proper

My One Word, wordled. Or rather, my 49 One Words, as decided by you (duplicates were eliminated) and then transcribed into Wordle for the purposes of making a word cloud, which is so last-month-media, but still. Note that I opted to include the word ‘moist,’ despite my deep aversion to it, for the simple reason that a) it was suggested, and b) human beings are 98% water, so it’s probably accurate.

There were some words that were suggested a few times over – open, honest, impassioned/passionate, smart, strong – and I love those words. I also love Catherine J‘s suggestion of ‘Catherine Wheel‘ – which strictly speaking isn’t one word, but two, unless you hyphenate it, which I think that you can do with any words, really – and Annie‘s coinage of ‘philoso-activista,’ which I – being a transliteration-of-ancient-Greek geek, tweaked as ‘philosopho-activista’ – and Alli‘s sensible insistence upon ‘complex’… I love all of these words, really, with the obvious exception of the word ‘moist,’ and can see using all of them. But after reflecting upon all these words, and the ones that I had jotted down, secretly, in my Little Black Notebook Of Words That Don’t Go On The Internet, I settled upon this:

4 Nov

One Word

her bad wordsThere really aren’t words to describe the awesome that was – that is – Blissdom Canada. Unless that word is, actually, AWESOME, in which case we’re off to a decent start.

We spoke a lot about words over the three days that we spent together, even in sessions that you might not have thought would draw heavily upon the verbal and the literal and the rhetorical. During the closing keynote panel, we discussed personal branding, and our opening keynote speaker’s assertion that we are, all of us, marketing ourselves all the time, and what words have to do with this. Every every time that you put yourself out in the world and participate in social life – he said – every time that you open your mouth (use your words!) or put your fingers on a keyboard (use your words!), you’re marketing yourself. You’re saying: oh, hey! This is who I am! I am THIS guy! I am THAT girl! Which is kind of a crazy way to think about social like and interpersonal relationships, but you know what? It’s kind of totally true. And so by the end of our two days, we wondered what that had to do with the totally over-used and amply abused idea of The Brand, especially in the context of One’s Personal Brand, as in, oh, hey! WHAT’S YOUR BRAND? as the latter-day equivalent of ‘what’s your sign,’ except much less obscure, and, perhaps, slightly creepier if misused.

blissdom canada rocks

The word you’re looking for here is ROCKSTAR.


At some point, I asked my co-panelists if they could summarize their ‘brand’ – which is to say, describe themselves as they see themselves putting those selves out into the world – in five words. “Do it in one!” someone shouted from the audience, and my co-panelists (the divine women that you can see in this video) nodded furiously and said yes, yes and I shook my head and insisted, into the microphone, that I couldn’t do it in one, and everyone shouted back, no, no: ONE WORD, and so I conceded and asked my co-panelists: “what’s your one word?”