Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How we walk

Americans don’t often stray into in-depth discussions of walking these days, except in the context of how to avoid it, just as we don’t talk about spatterdashes or the many uses of borax. That’s not to say we’ve lost the vocabulary: there’s shamble, shuffle, stroll, tramp, tromp, slog, saunter, amble, trudge, plod, dawdle, march, stride, traipse, and mosey. But they tend to exist now in a sort of vocabulary ghetto, employed chiefly by hard-up novelists looking for a shortcut to describe two things at once: mood and mobility. (“Marching toward Bethlehem” is a much different proposition than “slouching toward Bethlehem.”) Since society abandoned walking en mass for riding in upholstered comfort atop a metal box harnessed to a series of small explosions, we hardly pay attention to how we walk...
The Smart Set: Walk This Way - January 21, 2013

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