In the spring of that year they dug a giant pit in the shape of a grave. It stretched north, south, east and west, growing as eager townsfolk took up spades and bent their backs to hollow the blackened earth. Over the weeks the pit was filled with millions of words torn from newspapers, TV interview transcripts and antiquarian journals as the people thronged to bury a lexicon. The words were burned by torches and interred under a deep layer of soil. Then came the rains. The soil washed away and the ashen words reappeared like a stain, a scar.