Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The scraggly 22-year-old from Newport, Maine, started writing the nonsense word "fnord" on buildings, signs and sidewalks around town in early 2003. He estimates there are now upwards of 1,000 such tags spray-painted and written in marker throughout Portland, and countless more in other parts of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the word fnord originally appeared in the Principia Discordia, a cult treatise written in 1965. The term was popularized in the Illuminatus! trilogy by sci-fi writers Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. In Shea and Wilson's work, the word is said to appear in newspaper and magazine articles about current events, and to cause a vague sense of unease in readers who've been programmed not to consciously notice it.

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