Saturday, July 30, 2005

VRP Hypocrisy?

Project’s Founder Guilty of Poor Word Usage

In late breaking news yesterday, several readers detected lingual slip-ups on the prestigious blog, The Vocabulary Reclamation Project. And while the cumulative faux pas was relatively slight, the media quickly became involved.

Mr. Vanderhorst, founder of the VRP, was initially unavailable for comment. However, reporters eventually cornered Vanderhorst on the lush patio of his downtown penthouse, sipping a martini in a luxurious dressing gown. At first, he attempted to talk about his hoops game, his tastes in gourmet coffee, and even his “other blog,” the award-winning BitterSweetLife. Eventually, though, Vanderhorst was induced to provide a sound byte concerning the VRP:

“Hey, seein’ as how some dude went over the thing with a fine teethed [sic] comb, I’m just happy he saw only two—count ‘em—just two mistakes! C’mon, the freakin’ spellchecker can’t catch everything. Just forget that, ok? People should be grateful, this cool thing I’m trying to do to—”

At this point, Vanderhorst’s explanation was interrupted by several people, apparently a secretary and three lawyers, who hustled him into the house, where he apparently remained. As of this morning, there have been no further Vanderhorst sightings.

However, as this story was heading to print, a written press release was made available:

Despite the character assassination recently attempted by several (no doubt) green-tinged parties, the VRP will continue to operate as usual. I will not allow such miniscule impediments to prematurely derail the project. In the future, however, as regards minor syntactical errors, I will be more assiduous.


Ariel Vanderhorst, Founder, Vocabulary Reclamation Project

Speculation continues as to whether the VRP’s reputation for bold sophistication might be jeopardized by this incident. An inside source, speaking under the alias “Profound Esophagus,” suggested the answer is probably negative, based on Vanderhorst’s bent toward flashy but erratic genius.

In all likelihood, the VRP will continue its verbal crusade.

Friday, July 29, 2005

But I’m not a brainiac.

FAQ # 4


Put simply, the Project’s quest is to help people use the best words at the best time. And this is not necessarily the pursuit of elevated beings.

For example, saying, “The food was choice, the company enthralling” instead of “We had a nice time”—this does not require the mental stature of a Shakespeare or Dickens. Such tactics, my friends, don’t take a genius, only practice.

And that’s the quintessential truth.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I want to join…but I’m afraid.

FAQ # 3


It's true that classy linguists have fallen on hard times. Tell someone you’re being "facetious" and they’ll look at you funny.

Under these circumstances, fear of seizing wordpower is understandable. Fear is a natural reaction when millions of people tacitly disapprove of what you’re about to do.

But take the first defiant step and the anxiety will pass. Soon you'll be enjoying the rush that comes from flouting highschoolese speakers everywhere.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How do I join?

FAQ # 2


First, you secure a Master’s degree in English.

No, not really.
The only prerequisite is a genuine love for words. (Your vocabulary need not have already "arrived"...whose really has?)

To join up, simply
  1. Put up a button with a link to, then-
  2. Email me (see sidebar) and let me know.

Voila, you’re in. Your site will soon appear on The List.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Isn’t this dangerous?

FAQ # 1


True, the VRP could easily become an excuse for reaching people to write pretentious, confusing posts. To that end, we urge eloquence with restraint. Well-balanced expression.

But then, revolution is always risky.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The VRP Strikes Back

In an update that’s long overdue, here’s everything you’ve been dying to know about the renowned Vocabulary Reclamation Project:

It’s still alive. That’s right; the VRP’s shelf life has always been excellent, and despite the fact that I’ve neglected it, the blog is now rising phoenix-like from the ashes. Ebullient as always.

It’s new and improved. Having noted the desires expressed by many to “join up,” “play a part,” “change my life,” etc., I’ve taken a few steps to make that possible in a hands-on way. How will this happen? Keep reading.

It’s still got ‘tude. In the face of our cliché-loving culture, the VRP is not known for backing down. This loveable tenacity has not changed. The blog is still prepared to chastise poor vocabularies wherever they may lurk.

(Before you go on, be sure you grasp the VRP's basic concept. Essentially, it's meant to be a loose affiliation of defiantly well-spoken people.)


So, how does this work?

Step One.

To “officially” join the Vocabulary Reclamation Project, simply display one of the banners below on your site or blog. Accompany the graphic with a link back to this site. Then proceed to post (and speak) with audacity and verve, knowing the VRP community is waiting to back you up.

(Out of pity, it may be a good idea to pithily explain especially scintillating words, as in this example. Some grateful individuals may also wish acknowledge the VRP’s influence with a brief comment at the end of exceptionally eloquent posts.)

Step Two.

Once you’ve got a banner and link, send me a note at and I’ll add you to the VRP blogroll, soon to be visible in the right sidebar. Thereafter, not only will you know where to turn for lucid, to-the-point writing, you’ll also have the considerable joy of seeing your own site listed among those of other brave counter-cultural souls.

In the meantime, blog on. And remember: Eloquence is its own reward.

(Note: More buttons below.)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Words and Color

More buttons. You pick 'em.

Remember to link back!


Help for non-techies

The code you insert in your template should look like this (below). If you want one of the custom buttons above, you'll have to replace the highlighted text with the button data of your choice. If you cut and paste the code without changing it, it will look like this:

Here's the editable code:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Vocabulary Reclamation Project" /></a>

To use a different button, right-click on your favorite, select "copy image location," and use the "paste" function to replace the highlighted text. Once you've tailored the code, insert it in your template somewhere between the <body> tags. Most likely you'll want to place it in the <sidebar> section. Clicking "preview" at this point would be a good idea...

To adjust the spacing of your button, you may need to add "returns" (code = <br> ) above or below it. To do so is easy:

xxxxxxxx your code xxxxxxxx

Good luck.

P.S. If this is baffling you, as it would have baffled me earlier in my blogging career, go ahead and email me (see sidebar). I'll fix up some code for you.