Friday, August 19, 2022

The Use Of The Word “Magic”

Half the time, when we use the word magic, we are not actually referring to anything with magical properties but rather something that is an illusion or singularly impressive. A very gifted sports player might often be referred to as having magical feet or hands, when what they really have is a specific gift for the game.

This much is not news to anyone, but what is interesting is how the word “magic” has come to be used so regularly for things that are impressive. The idea of magic as a phenomenon is that it makes things happen when there is no realistic explanation for it. There is of course a difference between being very good at something and being freakishly good at it.

Any parent in the world has probably, at one time or another, explained how something works by saying it is “magic”, usually to avoid giving a longer, more detailed and practically incomprehensible to children, explanation. It usually satisfies the child if they are young enough, as children are generally perfectly ready to believe that their parents are magical.

The actual existence of magic is something that will always divide people. Skeptics will have an explanation for a seemingly magical phenomenon or will believe that one exists where believers will happily put the phenomenon down to magic. As we cannot disprove the existence of real magic, it is quite pleasant to believe it exists. What is certain is that we will always be impressed by someone doing something inexplicable.

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