Tuesday, 26 April 2016

No Dyssing

Someone I heard on the radio yesterday claimed he was chastised by a tutor at university for using the word "dystopia". The tutor insisted that the word did not exist,  (even though it is an entry in the OED).

I like the tutor's attitude. His real point was that the correct word in the context of the man's essay was "utopia". The word "utopia" contains within it the inevitable promise of failure; no attempt at building a utopia has ever been successful to date, and therefore there is no need for a separate term to describe the failure that is inherent within the concept.

On the other hand no one has yet tried Auden's utopian plan

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