Posted by on Feb 12, 2013 in Words | No Comments

Welcome to the Skyscraper Dictionary. The world needs one.

Take for example the following statement. I coined it myself, but it’s a statement which gist of it can be found anywhere in literature.

Skyscrapers are sustainable because the make cities more dense

Makes sense, no? If more people live in the same area, the less they drive their cars and the more they walk or use public transport. And skyscrapers create that density.

Well, the correct way of looking at that would be: it depends. Most of all it depends on how you define skyscraper, density, city and sustainability. All of these are umbrella terms that cover wide, and within their general frameworks, sometimes opposite varieties. Everyone has a clear, personal image what they look like, but except some archetype images (usually involving New York City) these impressions can vary greatly when used in a wider and general context. When suggesting relationships between subjects which are not clearly defined, often what you get are fallacies; arguments that may sound logical, but on closer look, are not in all circumstances. Especially when the average circumstance only exists on paper.

Like a city, a skyscraper is a phenomenon that is defined by place and time, comparison and perception. Just like Eskimos have over one hundred words for different kind of snow, skyshapers, towerists and clouddwellers alike need a vocabulary to be able to distinguish between the different shapes, expressions and characteristics of the skyscraper.

As such, words are tools to create opinions, ideas and insights. The more technical terms, slang, jargon or words you have at your disposal, the more precise these get. As every craftsman knows, both god and the devil are in the details, and these details only become tangible if you name them. Someone needs at least a name in order to exist.  This dictionary aspires to be a linguistic toolbox for these craftsmen. Through language, it’s a celebration of the skyscraper.

On a final note, Eskimo’s don’t have over one hundred words for snow as suggested earlier on. It’s an urban legend. Depending on what Eskimo-related language you’re looking at, the number ranges in between 4 to 12. I just used this factoid to make a point. But based on the idea of it, we have now started to collect and create skyscraper-related words to work and play with. If your mental spell check has already underlined skyshapers, towerists and clouddwellers, then now you understand the need for this dictionary.