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aporia (uh-POR-ee-uh) noun

1. An expression of doubt.

2. Contradiction, paradox, or confusion posed by the presence of conflicting propositions.

[From Late Latin, from Greek aporos (without passage), from poros (passage).]

Today's word is derived from the same ancestor per- (to pass) that is the source of such words as emporium, export, fare, ford, osteoporosis, port, and porch. -Anu

"If cults were typically founded in response to disaster or plague, why are cults proliferating today? What calamity is driving people into them? The answer seems to be a general aporia: a loss of meaning or of nerve, a thirst for simple answers in the face of overwhelming complexity." Daniel Dennett, Appraising Grace, Sciences (New York), Jan/Feb 1997.

"Here lies the aporia, the inflexible point of contradiction in the Document and in the vision of NEPAD as conceived." Remi Raji, NEPAD: Questing the Forgotten Component, This Day (Lagos, Nigeria) Aug 1, 2002. (NEPAD = The New Partnership for Africa´s Development)

This week's theme: miscellaneous words.


Every dewdrop and raindrop had a whole heaven within it. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882)

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