Saturday, May 3, 2014

20-Minute Topic: Machination

           There is, apparently, no such thing as a happy word. Though, I guess that depends on the user AND the recipient of the acts detailed by the words we've done so far. Anyway, in keeping with relatively short-standing tradition, today's word is machination. It's also another one of those words that will perplex the average listener when used en communicacion, if you will. While, to be sure, similarities exist with pseudo-synonymous words, machination stands alone. Actually, most words do that when you think about it. English is screwed up, but I don't think we have any pairs of words that are both spelled identically, and possess the same meaning. My lexicon isn't limitless, though, so I could be wrong. At any rate, that would be savagely unnecessary. I mean, how would you KNOW?

          That kind of system would leave interpretation, and correction up to the whims of anyone who wanted to enforce it. And those who would want to enforce it are not the sort of people you would want enforcing it. The machinations of their mind, an anathema to civilized discourse. Actually, I think I'm going to start doing that anyway. That was a pretty good segue, yes? No, actually, those people aren't worthy of the word. They befoul the proud face it presents. Stinking, no good grammar Nazis. Go home. Wait. You probably ARE jail! Yeah! Turn yourselves in. *Ahem* Sorry about that. Anyway, I'll explain below:

           Not just any plot, intrigue, conspiracy, or skullduggery can be a machination, though. In case you were wondering before, those words, mixed together, make up the majority of the word in question's definition. The plans of the aforementioned horrid human beings (also a pretty good band name) would barely constitute a ploy. MAYBE, on a REALLY good day, they might graduate to stratagem. Nay, machination is reserved for describing the primary activity of the average Bond villain. They do it all the time. They're always machinatin', machinatin'. The difference? You may be asking, the difference is all in the execution. It takes years of practice, believe me, I should know.

          Any rube can plot. Any toady can engage in skullduggery. A machination requires sophistication. It must be sufficiently grandiose. It must be executed with the, how you say, panache. A good, hearty, disconcerting laugh is always a plus, too. To foil a plot only requires knowledge of it. A conspiracy can be unmasked as easily as making a strategic phone call. A full-blown machination, however, can only be undone via Deus Ex Machina. I guess certain Batman villains have claim to the activity as well. Although...Hmm...Does Batman count as a Deus Ex Machina within his own comic books? Eh, I think Batman counts as whatever he wants to. I'll let it slide.

          Dude...Best villain name EVER. The Machinator. He'd always be dressed in 15th century Italian garb, have a goatee, and be constantly soliloquizing on the best way to rule (the world). Yeah, there's no WAY that guy doesn't take over the world. He wins. That's it. Game over, man, game over. Good luck forestalling THAT, uncommonly handsome, rich hero with limitless technical savvy. You are out of your league...

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