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another book i need to read

The Future Dictionary of America

"HUMANSONG [hyoo'-mun-sahng] n. a song sung to convince someone to love you. As human beings evolved, people discovered that singing was a way to seduce people they had crushes on. It began awkwardly, with out-of-tune guitars from teenage years dragged up from basements, and embarrassed singers recording their songs and sending them to the desired person through the postal system without explanation or return address. With time, instruments fell out of use, and people began to risk singing their songs in person, mostly unaccompanied, even though their faces sometimes turned red, as did the faces of people they sung to. Occasionally someone's voice would crack, and this was so charming that people actually tried to have their voice crack on purpose, but it turned out it was impossible to fake, just as were other equally endearing imperfections (i.e., wrong notes, forgotten words replaced with repeated choruses, gaping silences brought on by mortification, etc.) The success of humansong was so great that other, less successful human mating rituals like small talk, alcohol consumption, and bad dancing were abandoned in favor of singing. Every humansong is as unique as a fingerprint or snowflake. When you open a window in spring, the air is sometimes filled with them."

- Nicole Krauss