Monday, April 28, 2003

Margaritas and new words
Friday April 25th, some time between 5.00 and 7.00 pm, I settled in a sunny corner of a restaurant on Karl-Johans gate. In the middle of my second margarita I decided that the world needs a new word. The word for which there is such urgent need describes the act of accessing an URL, for instance when opening a new website from an other. There should be no need for prepositions such as to, from, back, up, down, because the word itself decribes an action which has no geographical direction.

The word I thought of that sunny, lime-flavoured afternoon was dimle. When I click Jill's name here and her blog appears on my monitor, I have dimled her. When I click "back" I redimle my own blogg. If I update the page on the screen, I redimle it. This word does not indicate a movement in geographical space, but the repetition of an act.

In order to organise my thoughts about why we need this new word, I got a cappucino and a change of location. This was a physical act, as is the turning of the pages on a book. Something changes within the three dimentions of the flesh world when I open a book at page 54. This does not happen when I access Jill/txt, or, or whichever new URL I type in and see on the monitor of my computer. This is a change not of position, but of image. I am not in a new place, but in a new frame of information.

While we continue to use geographical metaphors for what we experience when reading web-pages online, we continue to limit our thinking about the potential of digital media. We permit the trap of three dimentions to hold us within a certain conceptual state even where physical restrictions are no longer valid. Dimle is a silly word. It's similar to dumle, a chocolat.covered toffee. Perhaps it is too silly to be useful, perhaps I should have researched meditation to find a word for accessing a state of mind, or made an acronym from some more common concepts: turle from to url - to turle, I turle, you turle, he, she it turles... This page was turled at 15.45, you are number 736 to turle this webpage... The syllables are unimportant, what is important is to give the act a word which is specifically its own.

(In Norwegian dimle will be: å dimle, dimler, dimlet har dimlet. Turle: å turle, turler, turlet, har turlet. It's easier to make a norwegian verb when the letter has an -e ending, and Norwegian is after all my language.)

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