Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back to the grill

My personal relationship with the word grill spans over 25 years. It is a conceptual-lexical understanding developed on two continents. Maybe three. Many of the experiences which shaped my understanding of the word on the North American continent steered me in the direction of fairly pedestrian usages. The grill is the thing that my dad uses to cook steaks. The grill between the bug spattered headlights of the brown Buick is ugly, like the rest of the car.

An event occurred in Lucerne, Switzerland in the early 1990’s which expanded my understanding of the word. The particular direction of denotative expansion is demonstrably germane to the current whirlwind of controversy whipping around my usage of the word grill in the “Dmitri Shostakovich: Part Time Fireman” piece.

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