maybe a bit too suggestive a title for this post.

in Weinreich’s Geshischte far di Yiddishe Sprache, he claims that languages show their depth in different ways. some languages have 40 words for snow, yiddish has 3 words for belly button, hebrew has one word, mirpeset, to describe an outdoor space of an apartment, and english has about 10, none of which adequately what dibs and cody have at their place, which is best described as a menagerie without aminals or birds.

is it a patio? a deck? a veranda? a balcony? a roof deck? a terrace? a porch? a den of iniquity (alas, no)?

let’s investigate a bit further…

a terrace is: “A raised level place for walking, with a vertical or sloping front or sides faced with masonry, turf, or the like, and sometimes having a balustrade.” level place-check; sloping sides-nope; balustrade? alas no. maybe when dibs moves out to the ‘burbs and grows a garden he’ll get a terrace.

a veranda(h) perhaps: “An open portico or light roofed gallery extending along the front (and occas. other sides) of a dwelling or other building,” again fold. dibs has no porticoes (A pergola in a garden)

patio: “A paved roofless area adjoining and belonging to a house; esp. a garden terrace.” nope, not paved. and no garden.

balcony: “A kind of platform projecting from the wall of a house or room, supported by pillars, brackets, or consoles, and enclosed by a balustrade.” also indirect. (btw, balustrade has the greatest OED definition ever: “A row of balusters, surmounted by a rail or coping, forming an ornamental parapet or barrier along the edge of a terrace, balcony, etc.” is architecture still a part of the english language?”

the best word i found is loggia: “A gallery or arcade having one or more of its sides open to the air.” keith suggests dibs and cody should open a video store on their mirpeset and call it videologgia to compete with videology down the street.

dibs, though, wants to call it a menagerie without birds. in doing so he shifts the value system from what he has to what he has not; he has chosen to define the form of his life by negative space, absence, and lack. but through this he is also ascribing a telos to the apartment: the apartment will finally become a home when there are birds outside, his living space will finally be reified. but what will Cody due in these reificatory times? will stand up still have meaning?

happy new year.