What's the word I'm trying to think of?
October 4, 2004 2:30 PM   Subscribe

OnTheTipofMyTongueFilter: I am trying to think of this word, but I just can't place/remember it. It's keeping me up at night now, so it's off to the Green... [MI]

I'm trying to think of the single word you would use to describe the instant when elements or events converge and something happens. "Convergence" is not active enough, and something like "flashpoint" is just made up. It describes the single point at which something pivotal occurs, either on its own or because other events have transpired at the perfect time to cause it. "Serendipity" isn't it, either.
posted by robbie01 to Writing & Language (47 answers total)
 
Nexus?
posted by Capn at 2:38 PM on October 4, 2004


Epiphany?
posted by dobbs at 2:39 PM on October 4, 2004


culmination?
posted by vacapinta at 2:39 PM on October 4, 2004


critical mass? probably not what you're looking for. but maybe it's closer that what you have. or you could try checking this list of words (at thesaurus.reference.com) for help.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:43 PM on October 4, 2004


confluence?
posted by rks404 at 2:45 PM on October 4, 2004


Synergy?
posted by mnology at 2:55 PM on October 4, 2004


watershed? Or cusp?
posted by ook at 2:57 PM on October 4, 2004


tipping point?

butterfly effect?
posted by inksyndicate at 2:59 PM on October 4, 2004


Tipping point.
posted by mcwetboy at 3:04 PM on October 4, 2004


Crystalization?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:06 PM on October 4, 2004


Singularity?
posted by Dean King at 3:10 PM on October 4, 2004


juxtaposition?
posted by sauril at 3:14 PM on October 4, 2004


Cataclysm?
posted by swift at 3:15 PM on October 4, 2004


Happy Hour!
posted by Robot Johnny at 3:17 PM on October 4, 2004


Conjunction?
posted by LionIndex at 3:23 PM on October 4, 2004


coalesce, coalescence
posted by planetkyoto at 3:36 PM on October 4, 2004


inflection point?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:38 PM on October 4, 2004


watershed?
posted by coelecanth at 4:16 PM on October 4, 2004


synchronicity
posted by iconomy at 5:28 PM on October 4, 2004


Catalyst?
posted by fionab at 5:31 PM on October 4, 2004


Climax?
posted by Sangre Azul at 5:32 PM on October 4, 2004


event horizon?
posted by yangwar at 5:59 PM on October 4, 2004


Crux?
posted by maniactown at 6:10 PM on October 4, 2004


A Hegelian Dialectic? (synthesis?)
posted by ChasFile at 6:16 PM on October 4, 2004


AUFHEBUNG! Mein deutsches Lieblingswort! Commonly Englished as sublimation, I think. But I don't think that's what he wants.

Robbie01, do you know or have an idea of what letter it begins with?
posted by kenko at 6:20 PM on October 4, 2004


huzzah!
posted by bachelor#3 at 6:25 PM on October 4, 2004


ignition?
posted by Wet Spot at 6:55 PM on October 4, 2004


i vote for crux.

alternately, orgasm.

(with me, Wet Spot? I knew it.... no, not you.)
posted by louigi at 7:05 PM on October 4, 2004


Denouement?
posted by obloquy at 7:18 PM on October 4, 2004


I'm with fionab.

"Catalyst" or "catalyze" were the first words that came to mind when I read your post. They don't mean precisely what you described, but I think they get your sense across.
posted by rafter at 7:21 PM on October 4, 2004


Syzygy?

If you're into classical dramatic theory, catastrophe? Crisis?

In idiomatic English though I think we tend to use metaphor here. Tumblers clicking in a lock, that kind of thing. Possibly even the straw that breaks the camel's back, the floodgates opening, and other such cliches.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:04 PM on October 4, 2004


Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone! None so far hit the "THAT was it!!" button for me, but I think "crux" may do in a pinch. Gold stars all around. (synergy is also good, but is more "ongoing" rather than a single point in time. Catalyst, on the other hand, feels like just one element setting another off.. good one, though!)
posted by robbie01 at 8:25 PM on October 4, 2004


The obvious one y'all missed is "consummation."

... realization? fruition? transmogrification? precipitation?
posted by sfenders at 8:38 PM on October 4, 2004


convergence?
posted by vacapinta at 8:54 PM on October 4, 2004


Crux?? You picked crux? Crux is what this post is: an unanswered question or problem.
posted by iconomy at 9:17 PM on October 4, 2004


juncture?
posted by mwhybark at 9:27 PM on October 4, 2004


Vinculum?

Um. Probably not, but I'd like to say that Robot Johnny's answer caused a synchronous nexus confluence in my crux.
posted by taz at 1:56 AM on October 5, 2004


Supervention?
posted by nthdegx at 2:35 AM on October 5, 2004


to keep you from losing any more sleep, when in doubt, "stuff" always works
posted by SNACKeR at 5:21 AM on October 5, 2004


Ahhh, Closure!
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:58 AM on October 5, 2004


coincidence, as in all of these factors coincide to create/cause xyz.
posted by grateful at 7:14 AM on October 5, 2004


Strategery.

(And robbie01, when you drop one of these questions, you gotta check back in, man!)
posted by pardonyou? at 8:12 AM on October 5, 2004


I'm thinking "apotheosis".
posted by padraigin at 9:18 AM on October 5, 2004


Eureka!
posted by deborah at 12:05 PM on October 5, 2004


Here's a few more: alchemy, amalgamation, antimony, blend, consolidation, gestalt,
(inter)mingle, juncture, meld, mesh, transition.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2004


Or perhaps even zeitgeist.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:07 PM on October 5, 2004


I got it, I got it!

rubicon!

No?
posted by mwhybark at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2004


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