Monday, October 13, 2008

The Cost of Wording

In the economy, we hear about the "cost of living." A raise might even be termed a COLA, or "cost of living adjustment."

What about blogging?

Some blogs rely on imagery or videos or photos; most use words. What if we had to pay for each word (or each character) our fingers tapped out on the keyboard? Already some pilot programs are being tested to limit Internet use, mostly to thwart hoggish e-behavior.

My point is this: in a reversal of the days of Charles Dickens or Henry James, when some authors were paid by the word and were encouraged to serialize and to write more more more, what if we all had to pay for each word?

How measured would we become? How carefully would we choose our words? Would we use the editor's scalpel or even the handy hatchet? Would haiku become the coin of the realm, the currency of choice in a deflated market of post-logorrheic excess?

Watching the financial world turn upside down, I scratched my metaphorical head and wondered what would happen if such tumult applied to the blogosphere.

And now we return to our usual unusual programming.

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