I borrowed this week's "Think Again" column from my friends over at McSweeney's. They've put together something they call The Future Dictionary of America, which they describe as "a guide to the American language sometime in the future, when all or most of our country's problems are solved" and our unhappy political moment is but a distant memory. The book includes contributions from almost 200 writers and artists. (It also comes with a CD with new songs and rarities from R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Tom Waits, David Byrne, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, They Might Be Giants, and Death Cab for Cutie, among others. If you want to buy the book and CD after reading this, or even before, go here. The money will go to lots of good causes which are all described on the McSweeney's Web site. Here are a few of the highlights:
ashcrofted [ash'-krofftid] adj. removed from or disqualified for public office on grounds of religious delusions. Derived from The People v. President Ashcroft, the landmark Supreme Court decision that disqualifies all candidates for public office who espouse a religion and/or other organized forms of magical, delusional, or psychotic thinking, on the constitutional grounds of separation of church and state, a decision taken at the time of the restoration of the Constitution following upon the dynastic, so-called "anti-terrorist" or "neopatriot" era.—ROBERT COOVER
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Go read the whole thing here.
Funny, but scary at the same time.