"In the case of everything perfect we are accustomed to abstain from asking how it became: We rejoice in the present fact as though it came out of the ground by magic." Nietzsche.
The city is a place of dead words, forgotten meanings that lie in the ossuary
of use value. There is a usefulness to forgetting. It lies in the
modularisation of metaphor; the annihilation of contingency, facts
established as usable 'facts'.
As Walter Benjamin noted, the city has indeed "become a cosmos of language through the names of its streets". Street names cease to be a convenient aide memoir to where we may live or work but instead become the site of a fragmented history, the surfacing of strange formations from a society's collective subconscious. This is an almost archaeological process, and the sighting of a hidden mythology can be quite as fascinating, confusing or instructive as the uncovering of fossilised remains: stone fish which lie within mountains. A secret history very different from the society's conscious projection of itself. Indeed, the forgetting of mythological names is no more than an illustration of a process that occurs throughout all forms of society: as the cardinal numbers are the forgotten digits on a hand that leads to the edifice of contemporary science, so too is the entire classificationary endeavour but a means of better picturing ourselves. Better picturing is in turn the image making device from which transformative processes and technologies arise. In fact, one might go so far as to suggest that the modus operandi of collecting and classifying, of taxonomy, is in effect a transformative one. More so than this process simply exposing the object(s) under scrutiny to the dangers of censorship, of being mislaid, mislabelled or over looked, all serious matters to be true; by coming under the will of they who name, can we not begin to see collecting and classifying as a close correlate of alchemy?(A magic like any other, good or bad, depending by whom and how it is used.) To know (possess) the names and hold (possess) the correct materials, is a (debased) base from which the impossible might proceed (gold, or explosion; remembrance, or oblivion).
Returning to the supermarket, we can see that diagonal classification need not confine itself to the names of things. One can easily imagine aisles devoted to peculiar physical attributes, foods made predominately from potato, reconstituted and reshaped foods, all the red food, the purple, the yellow. There might, for instance, be a place only for round or spherical things... Pizzas, footballs, Edam (which will also be found in the red aisle), toilet rolls (which might occur as well in a place for things that can be stood on their end so as to form towers), eggs, melons (yellow aisle), burgers, light bulbs, red cabbage (purple aisle), tubs of hand cream... Capitalism enacts sleights of hand no stranger, bullying commodities into spatial or edible categories, forcing yet others into those dictated by temperature. Things nestle together according to which space they are destined to be transposed to in the domestic environment: bathroom, kitchen, bedroom; cupboard, freezer, or garden. Such groupings can in fact be seen as an exploded plan of a metaphorical and over abundant house. House of an obsessive collector who must have all names, all things; the supermarket trying to reconstitute itself as the Platonic original. In short, the map of existing orders and groupings is more fantastic, more worthy of investigation than any orders of the 'merely' imagined. It is only through such mapping that a transformative imagination may be formed, that something 'not forgotten' can be grasped.