“The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis.” • Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
On daily to-do list: add ‘hypotyposis’ [vivid picturesque description] to long vocabulary list.
I started following Top 40 lists on pop radio stations when I was 8. Some are fascinated by the patterns we see in the stars, some in why autumn leaves turn brown, why love affairs go sour, why males are driven crazy by women’s breasts and why some bet on football games or collect Barbies in their original packaging, I was interested in the order of pop music.
I kept my own lists, ear flush to my red transistor, listening to ABC-AM or the WMCA “Good Guys” waiting for the announcement of the next song, scribbling it down in it’s position in the Top 40 on a lined page with a flashlight propped up on my pillow. I stole 9v batteries from the Acme Super Market to keep the radio going late into the night as if turning it off might mean missing a secret message from the ether about my place in the universe or a mantra that will lead to a level of nirvana accorded only the nerdy among us.