Newt Gingrich’s 1994 memo, “Language: A key mechanism of control
”, presents two lists of words. One contains the positive words to use for yourself, your party, and your programs. The other contains the negative words to use when you talk about the other side.
Gingrich, unwittingly, was proposing a version of one of Oulipo
: to write poems using a restricted vocabulary — the reserved words
, for example. My wife, inspired by her reading of “Language”, has written a poem using only the negative words starting with ‘r’ and after — in order.
based on a Memo
by Newt Gingrich
radical red tape
s h a l l o w
status quo :
Pretty scary, isn’t it? She also tried writing one using only positive words, but evil proved a more fertile inspiration than good. Dante & Milton had the same problem…