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Steve Martin
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It seems to me that magicians have developed a sort of accepted style of speaking about magic/effects/techniques, that includes a lot of jargon and "show-off" phrases. There is not much more annoying than someone using jargon to make it look like they know what they are talking about. Also, I notice that some magic books fall into this trap - using antiquated sayings/words that have become a habit in magic.

I think we should name and shame some examples of these. Magical creativity is best served by dropping them.

To start with:

"Extant" --- this word means "in existence". It sounds like it belongs to another era. Why is it used so much in magic books (even modern ones)? It really grates!

"Sight unseen" --- this one really makes me mad. It is so common in magic. "Sight unseen"?????!!!!! I think you mean "unseen", or "without being seen". Please...

"Kills" --- as in "astonishes the audience". Please... sort yourself out and say what you mean...

"...but if I just click my fingers..." --- Who are you trying to kid?

"...thanks for coming up to help. By the way, you're fat and ugly. No - sorry sir, I'm only joking..." --- errr...time to stop being a "magician".

"...this trick works by transmogrification..." --- errr....no, it doesn't. Does patronizing and boring your audience come naturally to you, or are you just making a special effort?

"the magical fraternity" --- hmmmm..... shall we develop a special handshake or something?

"...based on a Joe Bloggs idea..." --- (CLANG!!! was that a name dropping? Or was it just the awful sound of bad grammar?) Really, you mean that it's based on an technique/method/whatever that was developed by Joe Bloggs, who is/was such and such a person.

Please add your own contributions.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
rannie
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"The more you look, the less you see"
"your card is in the middle of the center"
"what do you expect, miracles?"
"There is nothing up my sleeves" (especially if the magician is wearing a t shirt)
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
Jonathan Townsend
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"Pick a card"

"Four coins, half dollars"

"Watch closely as I..."

"Let me show you something"

"And your card was..."

"An ordinary silk..."
...to all the coins I've dropped here
broothal
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Only magicians can "vanish" something. Everybody else would make it vanish.
Steve Martin
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Things that are transparent, tend to be "see-thru".
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
dpe666
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"Ok, look. There are one, two, three, four coins in my hand. How many coins are in my hand?" Why do magicians ask such stupid questions, and treat their grown up audiences like 2nd graders? Smile
Doug Higley
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In magic ads...

" Packs Flat and can fit in a Duffle Bag"


Does anybody use Duffle bags anymore?
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Steve Martin
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I know this is slightly off-topic, but I just saw an advert in Magic Magazine for what is described as "The Outhouse". This is basically a replica wooden ****house complete with flushing toilet and toilet paper. The effect is that a pair of false teeth placed on the lid of the toilet reveal a chosen card by biting shapes out of a roll of the paper. It is hard to imagine anything quite so repulsive as this, and the poor guy who made 20 "limited edition" (!) versions of this must surely have had time to start to wonder why he was doing it. Magicians sometimes have a reputation for being naff, but this...

BTW, it costs $1750. Oh, and - need I say? - it was developed in association with Terry Seabrooke... Enough said.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
Steve Martin
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Another tired old word is "diabolical".

As in...

"You will be amazed at the diabolical method employed."

"Just another example of Joe Bloggs's diabolical thinking."

"A diabolical trick."
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
Peter Marucci
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The plural of the first-person pronoun, as in:
"We have here . . ."
"We are going to . . ."

Who are these people? Royalty? Editorial writers?
Jonathan Townsend
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Diabolical->Divisive language or ideas

Just so you know.

Latin is not so common to most people these days.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Steve Martin
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Quote:
On 2004-07-08 07:37, Peter Marucci wrote:
The plural of the first-person pronoun, as in:
"We have here . . ."
"We are going to . . ."

Who are these people? Royalty? Editorial writers?



Peter - yep, that's funny.

"Now, what we're going to do is..."

Hmmm... just do it!
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
Dizzy
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Mentalists:

"I want you to relax and clear your mind". In my case both are pretty easy.

"Now I don't want you to lie to make me look good" but they always do.

"I want you to sign your name on the card". I don't know why some magicians say "your name", as if you would sign someone else's name.
Maaaagic!
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This is great that you're, um I'm, oops sorry, we're basically talking about presentation instead of method. The public love to take the p out of magicians not only for the words they use but by the extraneous use of hand gestures. PD and DB are not stars by chance.
Steve Martin
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I agree. Most magicians make me cringe in disbelief at their lack of even the most basic performance skills.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
Maaaagic!
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You are on the ball with this topic Steve Martin. There's a repertory company called SIMSALABIM in North London whose show is a first class example of the use of performance and theatre. Without the performance the effects would be second class.
I took a friend to their first ever magic show to see PD in London as The Great Malini.It was a beautiful evening. They were blown away by the experience, with the egg bag being the favourite effect. The egg bag?? This is 2004! Surely not! I think it says a lot about the performance skills of Paul Daniels (albeit with a Polish(?) accent).
I took the same friend to see Derren Brown in London - amazing. My friend cannot pick a favourite between the two. Both are great performers - the methods used by either performer is not important.
Steve Martin
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I would go so far as to say that there are only a VERY limited number of good magicians in the world (by that I mean only a few hundred). And the number of people who have the desire to become good magicians is also limited.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
Peter Marucci
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Steve Martin writes: " And the number of people who have the desire to become good magicians is also limited."

VERY good -- in fact, EXCELLENT -- point!

That should be required reading for every magic practioner, young or old, amateur or professional.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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In ads:

"Do it close-up and surrounded!"
What they don't add: "if you want the secret to become obvious."

"No assistant necessary! Use a member of the audience!"
What they don't add: "if you want to see a claustrophibic person freak out onstage."

"Easy to do! No skill required!"
What they don't add: "It's a cheesy piece of plastic trash that looks like a prize from a Cracker Jack box."

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
icicular
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I like it when magicians are literate and overly verbose, ala Ricky Jay:

"The card will penetrate the most pachydermous membrane, of the most prodigous of household fruits"

(The card will stick in the watermelon rind)
A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B. - Fats Domino
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