living on invention

it's only somewhat related to our recent milestone, but we've been getting more and more traffic from search engines as our size and internet notoriety has grown.

recently, we've been hit by searches for "exclusionary tactics," "language is use wittgenstein," "deconstruction (use of language)," "anymore usage," "cheetah template trailing comma," "poet wag," "when was the word snot invented," "semantic narrowing," "putz definition," "fruit that is actually a vegetable," "flurl means," "definition mad crunk," "triangle as meaning," "who invented the first army tank," "fugly urban dictionary," and so on.

i'm not sure what a few of these people were thinking. but i'm thinking that, as far as the internet is concerned, language is location. (maybe this is support for my point that language has other purposes than communication.) that is, we ARE "invented usage." just the words. but if people get lost, then we're near a few other related things. for instance, insert any noun that has sparked recent discussion on inuse into the frame "who invented the ____" and google it.

invented usage is in the top five hits for:
"who invented the tomato?"
"who invented the army tank?"
"who invented the semiotic triangle?" (hit #1! i feel lucky!)
"who invented text apparatuses?" (ditto)
"who invented the stradivarius?" (yes indeedy)
"who invented the snoot?" (also, too)

and so on. pretty much any noun in one of our recent post titles will work. and the same goes, by and large, for the frame "usage of ____." if, on the internet, language is location, then it's possible to be in a lot of different places at once. it's like we live on 'invented' street, and also on 'usage' street, and also on 'flush toilet poem' street, and anyone who thinks to go to those locations might happen to wander in here.

and it seems people are desperate for prime linguistic real estate. hit counters swarm with ads for traffic-boosting keywords, and spam robots pile their product name into every available space to increase its importance on the internet (hence our comment verifier!).

but the corner of 'invented' and 'usage' seems like a pretty cozy place to be. while we're not on the first google page for either word, we are in pretty interesting company. search 'invented'. search 'usage'. for instance, i just learned that people invent problems to sell solutions; that the yo-yo has an interesting history behind its invention; that 'invention' is a vague thing, especially where al gore inventing the internet is concerned; and, near and dear to my heart, why QWERTY was invented. we picked such a nice neighborhood.


Seb said...

I think that that's really impressive. I went and found some more.

who invented the feral child?
who invented the mango?
who invented vagueness?

Cristi said...

thanks, seb. we couldn't have done it without you! (especially the whole feral child business...)

other exciting news: i just got an email from the publicity department of the Cambridge University Press... they want Invented Usage to review an upcoming book called 'Forbidden Words' about taboo and censorship. they claim to be sending an advance copy!

so that's fun! i'll keep you posted.

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