Asked why I listed my religion as “other” on my myspace profile today I said that the only even closely suitable choice, “atheism”, didn’t really get at what I think, leading me to guess that maybe “semioclasty” was more up my alley.
Semioclasty, referring to semiotics (the study of signs), could be defined as the practice of debunking and clarifying the functioning of signs and signification, making a semioclast someone who tries to smash the illusion created by our associations between signs and ideas (i.e. someone who points out that “security” often means being controlled, or that needing Nike swooshes to perform well at sports will always be for the biggest losers of all). But that’s not really the point.
The point is that in googling for a defnition of semioclasty, my friend noticed there were only 7 references to the word online.
The point is also that in googling for the related and entertaining word “semioclash” (which I would define as a conflict of semiotic understandings of some kind) I discovered that there were NO references to it anywhere online. Not that it’s really a real word but I would have guessed there’d be a book, a conference, that someone would have used it at some point.
Really though, the point is that I’m adding it to the list of awesome words that I said first on the internet (currently it is in company with artbusting). You’re welcome, the internet. Enjoy it.