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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 11/22/07

Joanna and Brad are asking about "connecting words," and they don't mean conjunctions like "and" or "but." No, what they're looking for are unique, or treasured words that we've found out and about in our daily travels, words that might not be common usage, or often heard, but which struck a chord for some reason.

I'm going to take this week's question to be one of coined words. Literature has been a wonderful source of new words. Just look at what William Shakespeare has done for the English language!

The word though that came first to mind when I read this week's question was "kipple" coined by Philip K. Dick in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Kipple is a specific type of clutter that fills our homes. It's the old movie stubs, the junk mail, the packaging from the things we buy and so forth. It's all those random pieces of paper covered with advertising that clutters our homes long after the thing being advertised has ceased to be relevant or useful.

I spent a year in high school carefully collecting all of my pocket kipple (although I didn't know the word kipple back then). At the end of the year I used it to make a collage that measured 3 feet by 2 feet. I still have it and it has become a wonderful time capsule of the late 1980s.

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Comment #1: Thursday, November, 22, 2007 at 15:29:13

Linda R. Moore

Kipple is a constant issue here in the RV. It can become cluttered in an instant. There are so many tempting little bits of paper to collect, and I haven't found somewhere that recycles paper yet. I have this basket on my kitchen table and each week I have to go through it and throw stuff out. ;)"

Comment #2: Thursday, November, 22, 2007 at 17:35:13

Joanna Young says

Wow - what an amazing word... I have loads of this stuff around, always, everywhere... I've never thought before about what stories it might tell if I put it all down and then looked at it with different eyes. Sounds like the start of an interesting piece of writing maybe...

Thanks for taking part

Comment #3: Thursday, November, 22, 2007 at 18:38:25

--Deb says

What a great word . . ."

Comment #4: Friday, November, 23, 2007 at 01:15:29


Funny - I've also found myself using that word in a blog post recently. I've always loved it (and it so describes our house). There was a story I read in the free paper on the way to work yesterday about a man crushed to death by the weight of accumulated kipple (they used another word but it was definitely kipple) that toppled over him as he slept. His whole house was full of the stuff that he'd never thrown away."

Comment #5: Friday, November, 23, 2007 at 03:50:13

gautami says

I too collect a lot of kipple!"

Comment #6: Friday, November, 23, 2007 at 05:42:51

Geranium Cat says

There's so much kipple in this house, there's barely room for us - lovely word, must remember it!"

Comment #7: Friday, November, 23, 2007 at 17:40:27

Chris says

I have a lot of kipple! Must have been an interesting collage."

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