What the heck is this all about? Good question. I think it is all about me being completely insane, but I’m not sure. If I’m insane would I know?
Here’s the back story behind my insanity:
Cornering the Web Content Market
I am a member of BlogCatalog (BC). I hang out there for two reasons. First, I’d have absolutely no life otherwise, so I like to kibitz with the people there. And, second, I use it to shamelessly promote my blog posts.
In a discussion a while back in the BC forums someone asked, “So, what inspires you to write?”
As is my wont, I answered flippantly. I said, “I’m trying to corner the market on Web content. I still have a ways to go.”
At least, I intended to be glib, but then I got to thinking, why not? Of course, I can’t monopolize the market because an unimaginably enormous volume of content is added to the Web every day. A bit of it is even worthwhile. Surprisingly, a lot of it is even more inane and/or trite than what I put out there. But consequential or not, a lot of pages are spewed onto the Internet every minute.
So here’s my thinking. While I can’t monopolize Web content, I can create pages for everything with the hope that at least someone will stumble on them through the “long tail” of Web searches.
How can I create a page for everything? I readily admit that it will take a lot of time and effort, but it is essentially quite easy drudge work. I’ll start by creating an individual page for every word in the dictionary. Once I’ve finished that, I’ll create a separate page for every topic in a comprehensive encyclopedia.
Yeah, yeah; I know there are already online dictionaries and encyclopedias. But here’s my plan. I figure that if I can get the Guinness Book of World Records to affirm that I’m the most insane person on the planet that will encourage a lot of people to link to me, which will raise my standings in the search engines. Brilliant, huh?
Rather than spending a heap of money (i.e. a few dollars) on a new dictionary, I’m going to use one I already have on my bookshelf, The New Penguin English Dictionary (1996 edition). If you have a copy, you can follow along.
So as to not get totally ridiculous, I’m going to omit prefix and suffix entries in the dictionary. And if one word has different meanings, I’ll probably group them together even if the dictionary has separate entries for them.
Rather than making another exception for expediency purposes, when the dictionary defines a phrase, rather than simply a word, I will provide a commentary on that phrase.
Obviously, I can’t copy the definitions in the dictionary. That would break the copyright on the dictionary. Instead, I’ll write a commentary on that word, attempting to sate my flippancy appetite in the process.
This is that project.
(Don’t worry, BC friends, I won’t shamelessly promote each entry in BC. So, if you want to follow this exciting adventure you’ll have to check back here often or subscribe to my RSS feed. If you want to know how to do that, please ask someone else. I’m pleading the old fogey defense. I haven’t the foggiest of ideas how to do that. I just know that I’ve enabled that facility.)
The countdown to when London bookmakers start giving odds on my giving up before getting to the letter B begins now. 10, 9, 8, 7, …
When I started this project, the aim was to own traffic from the search engines by writing a post about every single word in the particular dictionary I was using, namely the 1986 edition of The New Penguin English Dictionary. The idea was to write a humorous take on the real definition of the word.
After more than 500 entries, I got bored. After posting something on the word “ale” I didn’t post anything again for more than a year.
I’ve decided to revive the project, starting where I left off but—to make it more fun, recapture my interest and, hopefully, encourage me to keep going a little longer—I’ve decided to take a new tack. Instead of trying to write a humorous take on the real definitions of words, I’m going to make up new definitions that are total nonsense and bear no relationship to the true meaning of the word. We’ll see how it goes.
The first of the new definitions, for the word alert, will appear (or, because people rarely visit this site, by the time you read this it will likely be very much more appropriate to say “appeared”) on the morning of February 28.
Of course, if I manage to progress far into this project, once I’ve come up with new definitions for many of the words in the English language it will be important to recognize that those words retain their original definitions in addition to the new one I’ve assigned to it. Otherwise, everything I have ever written or ever will write that uses those words will be gibberish because the words will no longer mean what they did when I wrote them. Then again, most of what I write is gibberish anyway, so never mind.