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What is the word? #223422
01/24/16 04:42 PM
01/24/16 04:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2
C
CarleeO Offline OP
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CarleeO  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2

There is a word for the phenomenon in which inanimate objects such as machines or tools conspire against humans. They will quit working or disappear at the same time causing no end to frustration. I used to know this word, but I can't find it no matter how hard I search. The story by Russell Baker in the link below explains this very well. Thank you for any help.

A constant reader,
Carlee O.
Fargo, ND

http://www.gmsdk12.org/Downloads/plotagainstpeople.pdf

Re: What is the word? [Re: CarleeO] #223423
01/24/16 04:52 PM
01/24/16 04:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,248
Land of the Flat Water
LukeJavan8 Offline
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LukeJavan8  Offline
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Posts: 9,248
Land of the Flat Water
A very fun read, thanks, and welcome


----please, draw me a sheep----
Re: What is the word? [Re: CarleeO] #223424
01/24/16 04:54 PM
01/24/16 04:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2
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CarleeO Offline OP
stranger
CarleeO  Offline OP
stranger
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Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2
Thank you!

Re: What is the word? [Re: CarleeO] #223429
01/24/16 09:12 PM
01/24/16 09:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 8,149
Worcester, MA
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wofahulicodoc Online content
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wofahulicodoc  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 8,149
Worcester, MA

My mother used to call this phenomenon "Resistentialism" - the inherent perversity of inanimate objects...

I think there exists a more formal and not-quite-identical definition out there...

Re: What is the word? [Re: wofahulicodoc] #223531
02/10/16 08:26 PM
02/10/16 08:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
tsuwm Offline
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tsuwm  Offline
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this too shall pass
the worthless word for the day (was): resistentialism

Paul Jennings's mock philosophy which maintains that
inanimate objects are hostile to humans. [OED2]

"Resistentialism is a philosophy of tragic grandeur...
Resistentialism derives its name from its central thesis that
Things (res) resist (résister) men... Resistentialism is the
philosophy of what Things think about us."
- P. Jennings, The Spectator, 23 Apr. 1948

"'Things are against us.' This is the nearest English trans-
lation I can find for the basic concept of Resistentialism."
- P. Jennings, Oddly Enough (1950)

"I must object to Oxford's dubbing resistentialism a "mock
philosophy." There is nothing mock or sham about it, as
anyone who has ever had to call a plumber on a Sunday
morning to unclog a refractory toilet will attest."
- Charles Elster (who devotes most of two pages in
his "There's a word for it!" to this word)


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