♠ Saturday, August 14, 2004
The Word of the Day ...
The phrase of the day seems to be deus ex machina, Latin for "the god from the machine," which today generally means (from Webster's Tenth) "a person of thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty." When Spock was blind for the entire episode, and then they suddenly remembered that Vulcans had another eyelid, that was deus ex machina.
The phrase comes from the Greek θεος εκ μηχανης, which is also "the god from the machine," and refers to plays in which the actors got into some big-ol' mess, and they physically lowered an actor from a crane, as a god (a Greek god, as it happened), to get them out of the mess. The god from the machine.
Man, you can find a lot of neat stuff on this-here Internet thingy.