Sunday, November 25, 2012


In Ignatious' personal notes to himself, or his "Manifesto" (so to speak) he uses the word PHANTASMAGORIA, which first conjures an image of Micky Mouse on a mountain waving his magic wand wearing that space-robe or maybe Pink Floyd's The Wall. says:


1. a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination.

2. a changing scene made up of many elements.

3. an optical illusion produced by a magic lantern or the like in which figures increase or diminish in size, pass into each other, dissolve, etc.  

In writing one's manuscript, there would be many instances where this would be applicable and yet, I believe this is first time noting this word. Of course, I know of 'phantasm' but not with the 'magoria.' It seems like a lot of effort to describe an LSD trip.  

Looking at definition number 2, could the changing landscape of publishing be called a phantasmagoria? You know, with ebooks, self-pubbing, Amazon, etc. It would probably never be considered a phantasmagoria as the emmergence of ebooks and the ereaders is not an illusion.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

An exemplum

The next word up on our journey through A Confederacy of Dunces is EXEMPLUM. On page 42 of "Dunces," Ignatious talks about an exemplum for the youth of America, furthering the cause of Clearasil.


1. An example.
2. A brief story used to make a point in an argument or to illustrate a moral truth.

I didn't even know they had Clearasil back then, but it had been created in 1950. My acne was so bad in the early 80's, I wish I would have known about it. There was one girl in high school that was my ultimate crush. Of course, I had no chance. My senior year, my dermatologist cured my pizza face with a prescribed cream, pills and sun lamp treatments over the course of a year. Yeah, it was bad, but it got cleared up.

I ran into this girl years later and miracle of miracles, she was interested in me and my smooth tan skin from Spring Break. Too bad. Let that be an exemplum to her. Ha ha. That word just doesn't sound right.

So, exemplum. Yes, sounds close to example so maybe I didn't need to add it to the blog, but I did not know about the moral truth part. So, it's an anecdote with a message. And how often have you used this word or seen it in a written passage?

Unless you're Latin.