Spring 2007

Inventory / Yellow Pages

Let your fingers do the talking

Julie Sinclair Eakin

“Inventory” is a column that examines or presents a list, catalogue, or register.

As a word wrangler, I am always on the lookout for better specimens, for alternative and improved arrangements. Words are good at hiding their value right out in the open when their meanings become obscured through overuse or near-extinction. We’re accustomed to assembling them in limited configurations, but, like people, words often communicate most interestingly when they meet unexpectedly. Dr. Seuss recognized this and consequently took us to places we would never have considered. The hybrid fragments below, collected in the service of our national language of consumerism, also possess the power to redirect our thoughts through miscommunication. Organized with a disregard for making sense, they nonetheless speak clearly and manage to describe a social landscape both comforting and disquieting in its familiarity.

Julie Sinclair Eakin recently became executive editor of Cite: The Architecture and Design Review of Houston. She is a former senior editor of Architecture magazine and is trained as an architect and an architectural historian. Her first book, The Architecture of Beauty (Rockport, 2005), will be followed by a work of architectural fiction.

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