3 New Words

It took me a minute to figure out how to post the blog.

In the Crisis (colored, negro, education) issue, there are two words that jump out at the audience: colored and negro. The word “colored” is used 106 times while “negro” is used 32 and “negroes” is used 30; as this is just a pluralization, I’ve decided to count them together, meaning that it is the second most frequently used word in the text, totaling 62 usages. This publication is put forth by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, so the prominent usage of these words make sense as the publication targets people of color. There is also an emphasis on education and achievement, which is reflective of the “advancement” that the publication wishes to make possible; this emphasis is not only found in lower levels of education (see St. Mary’s School advertisement) but also in a buzz word like “co-educational” as found in the higher ed advertisement for Morris Brown University. The magazine also captures important milestones of civil rights, including “Federal Anti-Lynching Bill Introduced in Congress” and the status of the “colored” soldier talks (76).

Like Crisis, the Egoist (symbol, organic, time)also contains key words that reflects its mission to give the most relevant, early intellectual advancements. In this issues, these are most notably “symbol” and “organic,” which are both used 27 times. The publication is known for publishing early modernist poetry and fiction, but also includes philosophy and other important intellectual pieces, including a tribute to a famous musician. The largest portion of this issue is dedicated to Marsden’s “Our Philosophy of the ‘Real,’” which discusses “symbol-making powers” (77). Marsden’s account reads like early psychoanalysis. His other most frequently used term is “organic,” which is also central to Marsden’s argument as he discusses the term in regards to a movement, time, and culture (79-84). In The Little Review (love, new, like), another literary magazine geared toward readers who seek intellectualism, one of the most frequently used words is “like.” While most readers would miss such a word, in a magazine that publishes literary pieces, “like” makes a lot of sense as it is used to indicate enjoyment, compare, and frequently employed in the literary device of simile. Consistently, throughout the magazine, like is used in simile. For example, in Kohen’s “Angiora,” the word is used to compare the narrator’s hands to “the black plague eating the wheat” (31) and in a different story altogether, Barne’s “Finale,” the word is used for a different purpose, to emphasize “those who like the round, the complete, the final” (29). The versatility of this word in the English language and in literature is revealed consistently throughout this magazine issue as nearly every author uses it once. However, it is a word that most would miss (I would have missed it had I not been using a word mapping strategy).