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The Domino Effect

Posted by Sathyaish on March 16, 2004

In Reply to: The Domino Effect posted by ESC on March 15, 2004

Thanks, ESC. I was aware of the phenomenon and also of the literal meaning of the word domino, which I did consult the dictionary for. What beat me was the origin of the term. Who used it first and why? I thought it might possible be an eponym, because it exudes a certain formality that is inherent in doctrines and theorems such as DeMorgan's Law etc. However, now that you've clarified, it did after all follow the game.

: : : I am curious as to the origin of the coinage *The Domino Effect*. Is it an eponym? Or has it something to do with *diminish*? The word *domino* does not seem to carry any semblance to the implied phenomenon.

: : :
: : : Suddenly, I am embarrassed reading my first sentence. Is it right to capitalize the phrase "The Domino Effect" without any punctuation in a running sentence?

: : I believe it is OK to say: He was trying to explain "The Domino Effect."

: : Merriam-Webster online:
: : Main Entry: domino effect
: : Function: noun
: : : a cumulative effect produced when one event initiates a succession of similar events.

: :
: : It has to do with setting up dominos so when one falls, several fall. For the image of domino effect go to this site and page down:
: :

: DOMINO EFFECT - "the concept that if one strategically placed nation in an area goes Communist, the others will quickly follow. Dwight Eisenhower used the Joseph Alsop metaphor politically in 1954, in explaining his decision to offer economic aid to the South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem, 'You have a row of dominoes set up,' said the President at a press conference, 'you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is that it will go over very quickly.'" From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).