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action painting

Why do some multi-word terms get entries in the dictionary, but others don’t? Action painting is in the dictionary I’m using. Projectile vomiting is not. Who made that decision? Who did action painters have to sleep with to get their art form in the dictionary? And did some poor projectile vomiter throw up on a dictionary editor? Is that why projectile vomiters’ afflictions don’t get a mention in the dictionary?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to equate action painting to vomiting, although in a few cases that might be appropriate in my opinion. Projectile vomiting was just the first thing that my mind came up with as an example of a multi-word term that didn’t make it into the dictionary, because that’s the way my mind works.

My point is that there must be many thousands of multi-word terms that don’t have an honored spot in the dictionary, but action painting does? Why? Was there a payoff involved?

With that rant out of the way, it’s time for the definition. Action painting is a form of abstract art whereby spontaneous actions, such as splashing, throwing, dribbling or smearing, are used to spread paint on a canvas or other medium. And they call that art? Why can’t they just paint a nice picture of Elvis on black velvet? Is that asking too much?

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