Monday, January 06, 2014


As for defending the concept of urbanism, I personally am not afraid to insert a hyphen where it belongs. Since the best defense is often a good offense, and the best offensive is often subtle, a subtle reminder of your roots can not be beaten. Of course, sub-urban written out hyphenated like that is anything but subtle in and of itself, so one must construct a milieu such that when it is finally sprung on your reader it seems actually natural and proper.

I do not fault those who abandoned the city during those times of willful neglect by those Jarrett rightfully calls imperialists. It gave those who stayed and were later joined by the children of those who left a chance to grow the culture of urbanism in a denser supportive medium. Our successes are now attractive. So attractive that we find ourselves needing to be able to inform, and to inform we need clear vocabulary. We need to inform sub-urbanites who wish to move to the city, of course.

For me urbanism is a written culture. I rarely get a chance to speak it. I can only imagine the subtle jolt one might experience on hearing suburban pronounced sub-urban. Again proper use of this now charged word is important. We do not want to imply that anyone personally is inferior or lacking. It was this concern that no one feel slighted that caused the purveyors of the concept to push the "b" away so as to disappear the notion of "sub." "Sa-Berben" now had the dual effect of disappearing the other concept as well. "Urban" became "burban" as if it were an intoxicant. And to disappear ideas of urbanism even further there was the shorthand of "burbs," as in "Oh we live in the burbs." It's a process of alienation that we can now to some extent counteract with a judicious use of a hyphen.

See here:

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