SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No τ Contents The Splendid Words—James S. Pasto

Special Supplemental Letter from the Editor

One of the questions that linguistics has failed for the most part to answer is so simple a child could come up with it: where do words come from? Occasional specific neologisms aside, we generally don’t know.

Sure, etymologists have traced no few back through the generations, but their ultimate origins escape our collective graspfor the signal is faint, distorted, or entirely lostthough even their mere echos stir something in the lexicographic cockles of our hearts.

Ours is an incredible shrinking world made small and intimate by words whichlike jokes and legendsspring to life seemingly without source, yet cross leagues in a moment and millennia on a page, all driven by our collective need to tell stories, to share what dreams may come to us, to tickle our own and others’ sense of humorto contact, convey, and connect. It is a world full of words, and thus full of splendor.

But not for James S. Pasto’s protagonist in “The Splendid Words”he is a man obsessed, driven by a hunger and thirst to uncoverhe knows not what! Through “seven years, three jobs, two marriages” and more, far past reason, he has hunted and hated, been haunted and humiliated.

Now his search has borne fruit and you, dear reader, may join him in the tasting, to discover whether it is bitter or sweet. Read on!

The Splendid WordsJames S. Pasto
SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No τ Contents