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    Space: The Final Mausoleum

    scottysystem.gifQuote: "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."

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    Reader Comments (3)

    That example isn't a catch-22, is it? Wouldn't a catch-22 situation be "You can only get into space if you're dead, but you can only die if you're in space"?
    June 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel
    Sure, that works too. But the quote implies that you can enjoy space only if you're dead.
    June 20, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn-William Zachary Brown

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