SO MANY OF OUR VERBAL surroundings are invisible to us; we live like blind fish in a sea of words. Two experiments to make the background pop out:
1. Try shifting the accent on multiword phrases; e.g., “Vanity Fair” turns from a magazine into a wry comment on mores. (That may actually have been the original intent, FAIK.)
2. From where you’re sitting now, how many words can you see (e.g., ID tags, slogans, ads)? Of these, how many are necessary for the worded thing’s function (e.g., the colorful packaging on a soda can)? If not, then why do they exist?
By paying attention to our attention, we become open to universes-next-door … right in front of our faces.