Words. They are with us one moment… and then they are gone. Those words you read just seconds ago? Already pushed aside by the new words arriving now, barking for attention.
Is this weightlessness a concern? Should we hold our words, and those who speak them, more accountable?
Aldous Huxley would think so. Writer, poet, Hollywood screenwriter, philosopher. Perhaps best known for Brave New World, a novel published in 1932 depicting a future in which science creates genetically and behaviorally engineered humans. And 1954’s The Doors of Perception, in which Huxley describes his experiments with psychedelic drugs.
It is forward-looking writing that has survived to this day. Yet the prolific Huxley left us much, much more. A few years ago, a Rochester Institute of Technology graduate, Jon Budington, was poking through a used-book store in Vermont when he found Words and Their Meanings, a slim volume by Huxley, published in 1940. Budington contacted RIT Press and suggested the book was worthy of resurrection. The publishing house’s director, Bruce Austin, agreed.