Weird Word of the Day: Deus Ex Machina

If you’ve seen the movie Ex Machina, this term will make a lot more sense to you (can Oscar Isaac dance, or what?!). Of course, it will probably also make sense to you if you took a lot of English lit classes in college. It’s one of those adopted words, like “denouement,” that requires above-average pronunciation skills to avoid humiliation or befuddled looks.

Here’s what Merriam-Webster has to say:

  1. 1 :  a god introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome

  2. 2 :  a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty

In Latin, the phrase translates to “a God from a machine.”

Now, let’s see how this term is actually used in everyday Internet parlance:

From NorthJersey.com:

If Trump loses, Christie is faced with nothing but bad choices. If Trump wins, it’s a deus ex machina ending.

From NeonNettle.com:

“I am sort of a deus ex machina,” Soros told the New York Times in 1994. “I am something unnatural. I’m very comfortable with my public persona because it is one I have created for myself. It represents what I like to be as distinct from what I really am. You know, in my personal capacity I’m not actually a selfless philanthropic person. I’m very much self-centered.”

From Ekathimerini.com:

In comments later, Mitsotakis acknowledged the significance of the support of friends like Obama but he emphasized that “there is no deus ex machina” and that everyone must play their part to extricate Greece from the crisis.

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