Saturday, January 14, 2006


I have been spending quite a bit of time in the car lately, which can be an interesting experience, especially for a divergent thinker. Convergent thinkers are those kids that knew every answer in school. They could take complex data and ideas, and boil it all down to the right, single answer. They could tell you to the 4,400th decimal point what PI was...from memory. I'm convinced these are the kids that went on to become researchers and CSI investigators.

But I was, and continue to this day, to be a divergent thinker. Which can take you to some pretty weird places, especially when you have time a me. I was listening to one of those tired comedians talk, yet again, about oxymorons: "What about jumbo shrimp, is it jumbo, or is it shrimp...friendly takeover...humanitarian invasion...yada-blabba-doo. (Interestingly, I did a quick search and found this list, which includes polite salesman. What? There are no polite salesmen? They are either polite or salesman? You forgot Date with and oxymoron online list compiler).

Anyway that got me to thinking. What do you call something that, instead of being either-or (Jumbo Shrimp is either Jumbo or Shrimp) is neither-nor? I'm thinking about things like Singer-songwriter, neither singers ("And now, the silky-smooth stylings of Mr. Bob Dylan [Insert sound effect: needle drawn across vinyl record]...) nor songwriters (Puff, the magic...). Another example: Human Resources...neither human, nor resources.

So now that it's defined, I'm looking for a word to apply to the concept. What would you call it?


Redlefty said...

How about some latin combos?


Maybe not.

FishrCutB8 said...

I was out the day they taught Latin. Translations?

Redlefty said...


Duonullus = "two No's"

Quinymomnis = "Not any" or "None of the above"

I was there the day they taught Latin, but I was daydreaming about baseball.