Recently, I used the word machinations when describing a scheme somebody had. I had to look it up to verify the meaning, and the dictionary said, "the art of plotting; a crafty scheme or cunning design for the accomplishment of a sinister end". I really hadn't thought of the word as being that sinister, but I decided I must be wrong. However, in today's Chicago Tribune the following quote was used when describing a program to alleviate bullying behavior of kids, "the educators used behind-the-scenes 'machinations' to keep these children from becoming isolated...." Now, they obviously were not talking about "sinister plotting". How do you use that word?
Once again, Kalleh is replying to her own post! Sorry, folks!
I googled machinations/word and found most entries do indeed indicate it to be a sinister word. The following was an example from the NY Times:
[T]o keep away from them and steer clear of their inveigling schemes and grasping machinations . . . has been my constant life-long effort.
--Jeff Stryker, "They Couldn't Resist: Oh, One Last Thing,"
New York Times, May 21, 2000
This quote brings up another interesting word--inveigling!
Another use of machinations seems to be with power plays that have dominated the film industry.
Greeks named by "mêkhanê" an ingenious invention, a wily craftiness, a guile allowing to reach a dedicated objective more easily and more certainly.
This is the sense which meets itself to the french word "machination".
Even if it is not mechanical, the "machination" is nevertheless inflexible like a ... perfect premeditated crime. The "machination" is glaucous, impossible to be elucidate before it ends to inveigle its finalities.
The "machination" is a mephitic stratagem that works hidden, in the deepness of its wheels, rods and belts working. Do you want I clarify this metaphor ?
No of course, but please, don't confuse this machinery with the "vélo" wheels, rods and belts. Racing in the fog, counterclockwise, on a velodrom is not a "machination" at all, just a dangerous stupid idea, ... hmmm ... except for a masochistic epicurean, isn't it ?)
WOW! Welcome Safi! Nice to have you on board!
Welcome, Safi! So glad to have you here! And, I am glad that you brought this thread forward because it has been stagnant for awhile. Yes, you do clarify (elucidate?) the subject.
Safi and I have been bantering back and forth (on emails) re: the use of clarify vs. elucidate. Safi, how about starting a thread on the distinction between those 2 words? I am not sure if Safi is right, I am right, or if there are cultural differences on the use of the 2 words.
With the help of others on the board, we may be able to "clarify" it? How about it, Safi?
Now there's a lovely oxymoron! Don't tell Cicero. The idea of a masochistic epicurean undermines the whole of his De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum!
I think one reason I like machination is its rhyme with cachinnation. It means a loud laugh or guffaw, a cackle.
I picture the evil scientist in all those B movies cachinnating gleefully as he contemplates his evil machinations to ensnare the hero!