Saturday, July 16, 2011


Alakazam’s power lies in its mystery. The word is the very definition of secret. It’s something beyond understanding, something we can never get to the bottom of, something so wondrous it should only be whispered, if uttered at all. Alakazam expresses something unobservable, hence its appropriateness for sleight-of-hand. It describes a contradiction—a paradox—hence its appropriateness for illusions demonstrating the impossible. It’s an ephemeral word, gone almost before it can be fully spoken: the initial ala is a distant echo by the time the zam takes a powder. It’s also an ethereal word, inherently otherworldly.

Alakazam retains an aura of mystery—and therefore magic—even as most other words have become mundane with usage.

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