Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I just finished an article in this week’s New York Times Magazine (“Cyber-neologoliferation” by James Gleick ) about the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary. This is a dictionary, in its third edition, that is trying to include every single written English word that has been in use for at least five years. This third edition may only ever exist on a computer, because the list is getting so long and the task of updating so demanding. (The second edition was 20 volumes long).

The article states, “Like the printing press, the telegraph and the telephone before it, the Internet is transforming the language simply by transmitting information differently. And what makes cyberspace different from all the previous information technologies is its intermixing of scales from the largest to the smallest without prejudice.” You can’t finish a list of English words, because new words are springing up faster and faster these days on the internet.

They are in the Ps right now.

If there was ever a case for needing to “be in the present,” it would be when you are compiling the Ps and know that any blog posting, any text messaging abbreviation, any YouTube video at anytime could be the source of the next really popular O word. I think it would be extremely hard not to get overwhelmed by the scale of it all. Keep your focus on your exhale…

I’ve been thinking about yoga online a lot lately and what the implications for the practice are. To me, yoga is a living language and is constantly changing and adapting depending on who is practicing, how it is being taught, what it is being used for. So if we start connecting yogis around the globe with the internet, how will this change yoga? Will we start moving away from an asana-based practice and start to work on the other limbs (Pranayama, etc.)? Will it become a more private practice, if you don’t go to a studio for class? More public, because you can connect with more people online? I dunno, but I love to think about it.

What do you think about it?
©Brenda K. Plakans. All Rights Reserved

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