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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Definition of "Magic" (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JackScratch
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I seem to be getting a lot of milage out of dictionary.com lately.

Magic-
n.
1. The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.
2.
1. The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or control events in nature.
2. The charms, spells, and rituals so used.
3. The exercise of sleight of hand or conjuring for entertainment.
4. A mysterious quality of enchantment: “For me the names of those men breathed the magic of the past” (Max Beerbohm).

adj.
1. Of, relating to, or invoking the supernatural: “stubborn unlaid ghost/That breaks his magic chains at curfew time” (John Milton).
2. Possessing distinctive qualities that produce unaccountable or baffling effects.
Alan Wheeler
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Magic is trickery and deception that creates the illusion of the supernatural or the impossible--often with indescribable feelings such as awe, wonder, amusement, puzzlement, or self-doubt.

I know, I know. I just don't get it.

Alan
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-01-12 07:22, Alan Wheeler wrote:
Magic is trickery and deception that creates the illusion of the supernatural or the impossible--often with indescribable feelings such as awe, wonder, amusement, puzzlement, or self-doubt.

I know, I know. I just don't get it.

Alan


Alan, folks

Pick a frame of reference and then define magic in terms appropriate for that frame. That's why many dictionaries have more than one definition for a word. Define the word IN CONTEXT.
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JackScratch
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OK, #3
Jonathan Townsend
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Number three is a small part of what we do when we perform for others.
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JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-01-12 10:01, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Number three is a small part of what we do when we perform for others.


How do you figure. I can't imagine anything I, or anyone else in magic does, that doesn't fit in this defenition. Unless you mean marketing and finances, but I don't think that part of "magic" counts as "magic".
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-01-12 12:40, JackScratch wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-01-12 10:01, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Number three is a small part of what we do when we perform for others.


How do you figure. I can't imagine anything I, or anyone else in magic does, that doesn't fit in this definition. Unless you mean marketing and finances, but I don't think that part of "magic" counts as "magic".


Since "conjuring" is an undefined term in item three, I dropped it out of my discussion, so only using this: "The exercise of sleight of hand"

Sleight of hand is a TINY part of the methods used in performing magic. From gaffs to preparation to some properties of the object used, from psychological ploys to scripted surprises... lots more than just sleights.

And most sadly, if they believe you are using sleight of hand... you are not offering them magic, merely some sort of secret juggling. Go for the magic. Smile

Now if they believe you are actually conjuring portals to other dimensions, imps and sprites... good going!
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JackScratch
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Well, it seems kind of silly to have to resort to this, but

Conjuring-
v. tr.
1.
1. To summon (a devil or spirit) by magical or supernatural power.
2. To influence or effect by or as if by magic: tried to conjure away the doubts that beset her.
2.
1. To call or bring to mind; evoke: “Arizona conjures up an image of stark deserts for most Americans” (American Demographics).
2. To imagine; picture: “a sight to store away, then conjure up someday when they were no longer together” (Nelson DeMille).
3. Archaic. To call on or entreat solemnly, especially by an oath.

v. intr.
1. To perform magic tricks, especially by sleight of hand.
2.
1. To summon a devil by magic or supernatural power.
2. To practice black magic.
I would have to say that magic, useing this definition for "conjuring" and #3 for the definition of magic would mean any act which emulates the other defenitions of magic. QED
I believe the last word in #3 was the important one anyway.
Jonathan Townsend
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I prefer to cut through all that language and go with using (2) to effect (4)
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JackScratch
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Well that would then be the goal, but hard to achieve to say the least. Though, if you can say the definition I use, is not what you do, I don't want to know about it. Sounds like a million conversations I have had, where the other person starts with "I do magic with a K." Just like fingernails on a chalkboard.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-01-12 15:59, JackScratch wrote:..."I do magic with a K." Just like fingernails on a chalkboard.


Agreed about keeping Crowley's philosophy about acting effectively outside our disucssions of magic.

I'm pretty sure most of use can agree that the "magic" we are discussing is something we perform for audiences and is designed to elicit a response which includes an unusual feeling some also call magic. The other definition which seems useful to me involves magic as a device used in stories.
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Patrick Differ
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Hey, y'all...
Getting back to what non-magicians say what magic is we find out that they tell us that magic is:

Tricks.
Tricky stuff.
David Copperfield.
David Blaine.
Chriss Angel
Mystery.
Illusion.
Sleight of hand.
Rabbit out of a top hat.
Birds from thin air.

That is what magic is.

How much does it really matter what I think it is when I don't know what they think it is. Sure it helps if I have my own definition of magic, but I would much rather invite Jennie Price to define it. I believe she can define it more accurately than I.

Please reply, Jennie!!
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
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Magic is... connecting misconceptions.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2006-01-05 16:58, Liquid wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-01-05 15:37, Vandy Grift wrote:
Including yourself. So chill.


Vandy,
You don't know me. so... chill Smile


Nobody knows you. but everyone here knows Marshall Thornside -- except you. She is the daughter of De Yip Lou -- AKA Louie. She was jumping boxes when she was four.

Learn who you are picking on before you try to start a fracas. You will end up with egg on your face.


Posted: Jan 13, 2006 9:23pm
----------------------------------------------
Quote:
On 2006-01-12 13:28, JackScratch wrote:
Well, it seems kind of silly to have to resort to this, but

Conjuring-
v. tr.
1.
1. To summon (a devil or spirit) by magical or supernatural power.
2. To influence or effect by or as if by magic: tried to conjure away the doubts that beset her.
2.
1. To call or bring to mind; evoke: “Arizona conjures up an image of stark deserts for most Americans” (American Demographics).
2. To imagine; picture: “a sight to store away, then conjure up someday when they were no longer together” (Nelson DeMille).
3. Archaic. To call on or entreat solemnly, especially by an oath.

v. intr.
1. To perform magic tricks, especially by sleight of hand.
2.
1. To summon a devil by magic or supernatural power.
2. To practice black magic.
I would have to say that magic, useing this definition for "conjuring" and #3 for the definition of magic would mean any act which emulates the other defenitions of magic. QED
I believe the last word in #3 was the important one anyway.

It really seems silly, Drew, because you aren't getting your definitions out of a dictionary without editing them.

Here's the proof. You start with
"Conjuring

v."

Conjuring is not a verb. Conjure is a verb. Don't start with a false premise and end a string of half-fast definitions with a Q.E.D., because you haven't D'd. anything.

So quit doing cut and paste definitions off dictionary.com.


Posted: Jan 13, 2006 9:24pm
---------------------------------------------
MarcoM has the best definition.
Quote:
I am here to perform magick for you. Magick is defined as an act contrary to the laws of nature. So, I am going to stand here before you and perform an unnatural act.
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JackScratch
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Uh... Bill... No disrespect, but dictionary.com tells me, and I believe it, that "conjuring", "conjured", and "conjures" are transative forms of the verb "to conjure" which makes them verbs as well. Now my gramer isn't the greatest but "I am conjuring." is a sentence in which "conjuring" is the verb. Is it not? If "conjuring" is not a verb, please, enlighten me, what is it?

Besides dictionary.com seems like the perfect place to go for material to use in a thread called "definition of "magic"".
Jonathan Townsend
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Why go to a muggle dictionary for a word from outside?

That's hardly Vernon when you think about it.

If they had a clue, they'd have to be responsible for what they believe. And so... by contradiction we know not to look to them for much on this matter. Smile Aside from good stories we need to interpret Caféfully of course.
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JackScratch
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Sorry Jonathan, while I of course recogonise there are differences between magicians and those who are not magicians, I am afraid I still consider myself a member of the human race. I haven't decided that magician is the next stage of evolution, or some superior ancient, yet benevolent race of beings. Thinking yourself superior to your audience is the first step down the path to a dark place magicians should never go.
Jonathan Townsend
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We do magic FOR audiences, not to convince them we are clever or somehow superior.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2006-01-13 22:25, JackScratch wrote:
Uh... Bill... No disrespect, but dictionary.com tells me, and I believe it, that "conjuring", "conjured", and "conjures" are transative forms of the verb "to conjure" which makes them verbs as well. Now my gramer isn't the greatest but "I am conjuring." is a sentence in which "conjuring" is the verb. Is it not? If "conjuring" is not a verb, please, enlighten me, what is it?

Besides dictionary.com seems like the perfect place to go for material to use in a thread called "definition of "magic"".


No, conjuring is either a gerund or a present participle. By deleting the first part of the entry, which you blindly cut and pasted from dictionary.com, you screwed up.

And the question in our case was what is "magic?" Magic is a noun. When you define "conjuring" as a synonym for "magic" you need to define it as the same part of speech. In this case, "conjuring" would be a gerund, which is one of two verb forms that are used as nouns. The other is the infinitive "to conjure."

By your argument, if "magic" is "conjuring," you could say "I am magic," and it would mean the same thing. It doesn't.

Use a real dictionary, such as the OED, and wean yourself from this watered down substitute you find on the internet.

Since you don't understand how to read what dictionary.com says, you really should quit quoting it. "Conjure" is a transitive verb. What would be the intransitive form of conjuring?
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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JackScratch
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I see the problem here. I wasn't offering "conjuring" as a synonym for "magic". Earlier in the thread I gave a defenition for "magic" which contained the word "conjuring". A statement was made refering to that defenition not working because it only mentioned slight of hand, when in fact the phrase was "slight of hand or conjuring." I defined conjuring to further clear up the point.

And yes, I see now that you are correct. Though it is not allways, in this particular use "conjuring" is a gerund.

I'm feeling a lot of hostility towards dictionaries ( .com in particular)in this thread. The question stated in the thread title seems silly to me, more so when we are arguing about the defenition of a word which is very clearly defined. No matter what dictionary you use. Is this the kind of thing that normaly goes on in this forum?
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