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Spring Cleaning 2009: The Rotten Words Project

Get rid of the old, useless, bad, and ugly trash in your brain!

Hello, my name is Lulú De Panbehchi. I'm a grad student at Virginia Commonwealth University. For one of my Spring 2009 final projects I must create a collaborative writing system. I have designed the "Spring Cleaning 2009: The Rotten Words Project" in which I ask participants to donate a word that they want to get rid off or never use again. The reasons for wanting to give up the word are entirely up to the participant—the word may be difficult to spell, pronounce, conjure negative memories, or simply be vulgar. Words in foreign languages or profanities are welcome. I need to present the results on April 21. For the presentation I need to create a web page and write a paper to explain the theory, process and the outcome of “The Rotten Words.”

I will collect the words at VCU's Shafer Court on March 24, 2009.


  1. Participants will write a word on a piece of white paper.

  2. The paper will then be attached to a piece of colored paper—participants will choose from more than six colors.

  3. The colored paper will be tacked to a bulletin board.
  4. I will then record participants stating the word out loud.


  1. One word per participant.

  2. Proper names may not be used, unless they are the names of philosophers, historical or public figures.
  3. They can post the pieces of paper wherever they want to on the board.

  4. Word recording must be sincere.

The intended outcome:

A website with a poem, pictures, video, audio, and theory about collaborative writing.

The words will become the poem—which will be called “The Rotten Words.”

The written words and colored paper will become a form of sculpture.

The recordings will be used as soundtrack for the website.

Legal Disclaimer:

This is an academic project. I will use the collected words to write a poem that I will publish with a Creative Commons license, which will let anybody use the poem as long as they give credit to the creator—myself, Lulú De Panbehchi—and the word donors—the VCU community. I may use the words later to create other poems, in which case I will be the author. The website, pictures, video, and any recreation of the event and process of this project will be used for academic purposes only.

If you need to contact me: Facebook or Twitter (tascari) are fine, or at tascari_gmail_com.