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Beyond Electric Dreams

March 2, 2010

In this Bad Religion song, two lines stick out to me.

The first one is, “Ratiocination is a practicable way to derive. . .”

Ratiocination is a noun meaning the process of logical reasoning, while practicable is an adjective meaning capable of being done or put into practice, and finally derive is a verb meaning to trace from a source or origin.

The second line is, “. . . Or maybe a theophany of flaming creosote in disguise. . .”

Theophany is a noun meaning a manifestation of appearance of God or a god to a person.

Flaming is an adjective (specifically, a participle) that means emitting flames.

Creosote is a noun meaning an oily liquid having a burning taste and a penetrating odor, obtained by the distillation of coal and wood tar, used mainly as a preservative for wood and as an antiseptic.

Finally, disguise is noun meaning something that serves or is intended for concealment of identity, character, or quality; a deceptive covering, condition, manner, etc.

What impresses me most about just these two lines is the use of esoteric vocabulary and how well it flows with the music. There aren’t too many songs in which you have to look up several words to understand their meanings.

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