Word of the Day

Alison Bechdel in Fun House has a pane which I thought was a typescript of a term paper with a floating text box obscuring part of the text of the "term paper", said floating text box encapsulates a tender remark ("We had had our Ithaca moment"). What catches the attention is a marginal inscription rendered as handwriting (I thought it was a comment from the marker of the said "term paper"). The marginal inscription replicates a word and adds a question mark: obtunding? And the word is underlined where it appears in the body of the "term paper". Turns out that the term paper is the text of James Joyce Ulysses which is discovered by running the key sentence through a search engine.

Both admitted the alternately stimulating and obtunding influence of heterosexual magnetism.
What is really clever is that Bechdel uses the key elements of the sentence to introduce the next plane. In the space and lettering style reserved for the narrative voice the elements are recast:
In our case, of course, substitute the alternately stimulating and obtunding influence of homosexual magnetism.
The reuse of the word incites one to look up the meaning and further enjoy the overcoding moment.

And so for day 811