Saturday, June 28, 2008


Oh! Brocoli,
Oh! Brocoli,
A magic word
is Brocoli!
—J.A.H., “The Masonic Password,” Freemason’s Magazine (Aug. 15, 1868)
The incantation quoted above was said in jest, yet it's not preposterous that the vegetable broccoli have a magical name. The word derives from a Latin root, brocchus, meaning "projecting." A simple definition of a magic word is "a powered projection" (to paraphrase W. Ong, The Presence of the Word, 1967).

(The image of fractal broccoli is courtesy of Digital Expressionism.)

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