Quote: "Space travel is becoming affordable if you die first." William Saletan in Slate .
Figure of Speech: Two of them, actually -- synoeciosis (sin-eh-SEE-eh-sis), and Catch-22.
In March, a rocket will blast 186 cremated corpses into space, including the remains of James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty on "Star Trek." (Talk about playing a role to the hilt.) The price starts at less than 100 bucks, versus $25,000 for economy class on future launchesfor a passenger with a heartbeat.
Saletan, who does Slate's "Human Affairs" column, employs a Catch-22: You can enjoy an affordable space flight only if you're dead. The figure, which comes from Joseph Heller's novel of the same name, refers to a "catch" in military regulations: You can get a insanity discharge if you request it, but anyone who requests it must be sane. The Catch-22 is a close relative of the synoeciosis ("with itself"), a sort of long oxymoron.
Snappy Answer: "You go first."