Help me find a word in Infinite Jest
February 20, 2013 1:02 PM   Subscribe

While reading Infinite Jest, I looked up a word in the dictionary only to discover that the example sentence in the definition on my Kindle was exactly the same sentence I had just read in the book.

I've since forgotten the word/sentence, and it doesn't seem to be in my bookmarks. I have a second generation Kindle, and I think it uses the New Oxford American Dictionary behind the scenes (not 100% sure).

This is a long shot (especially since this is pretty much all I remember about the situation), but does anybody know what the word was/where it was used?
posted by :-) to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have access to the New Oxford American Dictionary, but here are the words from the OED that quote Infinite Jest: affront, economy size, ka-ching, map, militarily, mini-,
mokus, neurochemistry, O, pancreatitis, play, predesignate, presbyopic, Priapean, psycho-, Quonset. Is it any of those?

(oops! fixed it. thanks :) )
posted by sleepingcbw at 1:10 PM on February 20, 2013

Damn, sleepingcbw beat me to it. Note that "mini-" and "mokus" are two separate entries.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:13 PM on February 20, 2013

Best answer: I don't know why it suddenly came to me, but I found it:

'He's hard to pin down if you get him on entertainment qua entertainment'.

posted by :-) at 1:45 PM on February 20, 2013

I had a similar experience, looking up qua for clarity on usage, a week or so after reading the same passage. I used Apple's supplied "Dictionary" on my MacBook at the time.

It's still there.
posted by eyesontheroad at 2:10 PM on February 20, 2013

If you have a Mac, make liberal use of the thesaurus and its accompanying word notes while you read because David Foster Wallace is in your Mac.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:21 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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