Well, and to continue with the outlaw theme, I stole this from the man who made it, who owns a design agency in Rapid City, South Dakota. (I love that.) (But as he posted it up on Facebook, where I found it doing the rounds, I thought it might be more like borrowing…)
Thinking about why this gave me so much pleasure – aside from the sound of the ‘s’s where we’re used to hearing ‘sh’, and the brushing-up of teeth against expectations – is that the small absence of the ‘h’ has created a new thing.
That is, it follows the law of nature, which abhors a vacuum.
If you apply the word ‘vacuum’ to meaning, you get the word ‘vacuity’. Vacuity is what you get when a statement, in whatever medium, carries too little meaning to fill it up. All the bigness of it, the significance, either melts away, or is dragged heavily around under the weight of its pretensions.
In other words, as this picture demonstrates: if it ain’t one thing, it had better be something else.
That’s the law.
This applies to all fugitive letters, parts of letters, punctuation, spaces, meanings in words in context, and runaway jargon trains.