Word of the Day - Black Cat Photography
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Apr. 2, 2008 (Day 67)

Deus ex machina: an agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an apparently insoluble difficulty


"Elementary!"

Some time in high school I got addicted to murder mysteries. I remember tearing through Agatha Christie novels--but only the Hercule Poirot or "sans detective" ones, like And Then There Were None. I hated Miss Marple. I also ran through much of Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who series.

I slowly grew away from murder mysteries and into fantasy and historical fiction novels, but before I moved away from them completely, I discovered four really nice leather-bound volumes in my parents' secretary some time in college. Each volume was a collection of stories by a specific author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Guy de Maupassant, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. I loved the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. And I made it through the first three volumes of the set easily. I stopped Hemingway after the first short story because I could not stand his writing. Luckily, that story is the only one I need to know for Jeopardy questions: "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber."

Funny, but this phrase is one I always translated literally whenever I've read it. I never stopped to wonder at the meaning. Now I'll likely have this image stuck in my head whenever I see the word again. :D

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