Chapter 6. Communication

Hacks 5056

Chapter 3 explores the origin of ideas, and Chapters 1 and 2 explore their storage and retrieval. In between, however, there is another step: communication. If an idea in your brain did not originate there, it sprang from the creative act of another person, was imparted to you via communication, and only then was stored in your brain via memory.

This chapter is all about communicating clearly, cryptically, creatively, and in other ways. Whether you’re interested in getting your point across, concealing information from your enemies, or thinking and expressing yourself in novel ways, this chapter has hacks for you.

Put Your Words in the Blender

It may seem counterintuitive, but you can be more expressive if you squish and mangle your language.

James Joyce wrote his last book, Finnegans Wake, in a language for the third millennium, a language of dreams. He called it nat language, a phrase that blends night language and not language. I call it Blnder, a blend of blender and blunder, because it mixes up words and people sometimes speak it by mistake.


Phonologists term that upside-down e in Blnder a schwa, and it’s pronounced “uh.”

Consider Lewis Carroll’s (another master of Blnder) description of portmanteau words:

Take the two words “fuming” and “furious.” ...

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