Stuff – just happens to be, my favorite word.
As a noun, the Oxford Dictionary of English defines ‘stuff’ as:
1) ‘Matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied.
- a person’s belongings, equipment, or baggage:
- (informal) worthless or foolish idea’s, speech, or writing: rubbish
- (informal) drink or drugs.
- (one’s stuff) things in which one is knowledgeable and experienced; one’s area of expertise
2) The basic constituents or characteristics of something or someone. Healey was made of sterner stuff/ such a trip was the stuff of his dreams.
3) Woolen fabric, especially as distinct from silk, cotton and linen.
4) (in sport) spin given to a ball to make it vary its course.
– a players ability to produce spin or control the speed or delivery of a ball.
As a verb, ‘stuff’ is defined as:
- Fill (a receptacle or space) tightly with something
- force or cram (something) tightly into a receptacle or space
- (be stuffed up) informal have one’s nose blocked up with catarrh as a result of a cold
- informal fill (oneself) with large amounts of food.
The Oxford Dictionary of English, further informs us on the verbal iterations of the word ‘stuff’:
get stuffed: informal, said in anger to tell someone to go away or as an expression of contempt.
not give a stuff: informal, not care at all.
stuff it: informal, said to express indifference.
that’s the stuff: informal, said in approval of what has just been done or said.
Stuff, is our world. It’s the contents, the objects, thoughts and things that fill the spaces in-between. What’s my stuff, isn’t always your stuff – yet, stuff, is always something that remains present, gets shifted into various places – morphing forms, for an array of uses.
Tangled, contorted and precariously placed – materials, matter – stuff – forebodes, shadows and blocks. It is the material presence of our world that dominates. Stuffs, fills, forces, extrudes and bulges. ‘This is their world not ours’ – proposes cultural critic, Joshua Simon. ‘That’s the stuff!’ we originally proclaimed.
……the hard stuff. Soft stuff. Small stuff.
It is us that will continue to live around and with – it. Stuff. Destined to be forever burdened with the ruins of what remains from our raging thirst.
 The Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford University Press, 2005.
 See chapter: Their world, not ours in: Joshua Simon. Neomaterialism. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013. pp 24 -36.