Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Week of Vizzinis

If you've seen "The Princess Bride," then you no doubt remember the scene where Vizzini (played by Wally Shawn) says "inconceivable" every time the Dread Pirate Roberts does something unexpected.

Eventually, after the Dread Pirate Roberts does one inconceivable thing after another, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) says, "You keep on saying that word. I'm not sure it means what you think it means."

Vizzinis, therefore, are words that don't mean quite what their authors think. Craig Conley sent a great one from the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum in southeast Alabama, which earned a $1,000 grant to pursue "Artistic interpretation[s] of historical experiences of Americans of African dissent."

Says Craig, "I wonder if the exhibit will live up to its promise of nonconformism."

The museum meant to write "descent," which sounds like dissent, but means something entirely different.

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