• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word (er...Phrase): Deus Ex Machina

You can learn the darndest things from the most curious of places.

I was watching one of my favorite Christmas movies last night, "Olive, the Other Reindeer". Olive was captive in the back of a postal truck, when she spotted a package for her, sent from "Deus Ex Machina". She opened it and found a metal file. She used the file to escape from the truck.

I have watched this movie over and over again, and have never caught what comes next. She catches up with her friend, a penguin named Martini, who asks how she escaped. She says it was thanks to Deus Ex Machina. Say what?

deus ex machina

[ˌdāəs ˌeks ˈmäkənə, ˌdāəs ˌeks ˈmäakənə]

NOUN deus ex machina (noun)

  1. an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.

ORIGIN late 17th century: modern Latin, translation of Greek theos ek mēkhanēs, ‘god from the machinery’. In Greek theater, actors representing gods were suspended above the stage, the denouement of the play being brought about by their intervention.

So clever of the writers!

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