What's In My Inbox Today?

Word of the Day for Thursday February 9, 2006

(well, okay. So it was yesterday. I don't check my Yahoo mail as often as I used to do.
This is just one of my favorite dailies that I haven't changed over to GMail.

My reason for posting this one... well, go ahead and read the def [if you're not sure as
to what it is.] L
ately, I've frequently thought we could use some more of these things in real life!)

deus ex machina \DAY-uhs-eks-MAH-kuh-nuh; -nah; -MAK-uh-nuh\,
1. In ancient Greek and Roman drama, a god introduced by means
of a crane to unravel and resolve the plot.
2. Any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an
apparently insoluble difficulty.

In times of affluence and peace, with technology that
always seems to arrive like a deus ex machina to solve any
problem, it becomes easy to believe that life is
--Stephanie Gutmann, [1]The Kinder, Gentler Military

But we also need the possibility of cataclysm, so that,
when situations seem hopeless, and beyond the power of any
natural force to amend, we may still anticipate salvation
from a messiah, a conquering hero, a deus ex machina, or
some other agent with power to fracture the unsupportable
and institute the unobtainable.
--Stephen Jay Gould, [2]Questioning the Millennium

Deus ex machina is New Latin for "god from the machine"; it is
a translation of the Greek theos ek mekhanes.

Trivia: The dramatic device dates from the 5th century BC and
is especially associated with Euripides, one of the greatest
classical tragedians.


1. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684852918/ref%3Dnosim/lexico
2. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0609605410/ref%3Dnosim/lexico

Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation

Dictionary.com Word of the Day
(C) 2006 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.
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