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Could you please explain to me what this statement means? And why is it funny?

Syzygy, inexorable, pancreatic, phantasmagoria — anyone who can use those four words in one sentence will never have to do manual labor.
— W.P. Kinsella

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closed as off topic by FumbleFingers, Matt Эллен, MετάEd, Carlo_R., J.R. Sep 19 '12 at 0:29

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That doesn't seem a particularly difficult challenge. Like, "Alice watched the night sky in awe as the moon approached syzygy, and reflected that her impending inexorable death from pancreatic cancer was just one small part in the phantasmagoria that is the universe." But then, I've never had to do manual labor. –  Jay Sep 18 '12 at 13:54
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@Jay W.P. Kinsella did it much more easily. –  Kris Sep 18 '12 at 14:12
    
@Jay: "Syzygy, inexorable, pancreatic, and phantasmagoria are uncommon words". Those of us who have done manual labour know the value of not expending unnecessary effort. Why write a 34-word sentence just to prove you might actually know the meanings, as well as be able to write them all in a sentence? Anyway, the question itself seems Too Localised to me. –  FumbleFingers Sep 18 '12 at 14:16
    
Requests to explain a joke are off topic at this site. Please see the faq. –  MετάEd Sep 18 '12 at 14:31
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@Jay: I just liked the symmetry of having four common words and four uncommon ones in my sentence. –  FumbleFingers Sep 18 '12 at 14:41
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2 Answers 2

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They are four obscure and unrelated words and would be difficult to work into a single sentence (I had to look up syzygy). The implication is that if you can work them into a single sentence, you're sufficiently educated or intellectually inclined that you will be able to find a "desk job" as opposed to having to do manual labour.

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I think it means you have to be extremely well-educated to use those four words in one sentence, so you will have no problem finding good job that doesn't require manual labor)

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It's very easy to use syzygy, inexorable, pancreatic, and phantasmagoria in a single sentence. If one allows word-as-a-word usages. –  Edwin Ashworth Sep 18 '12 at 13:43
    
@EdwinAshworth - what is that, pray tell? –  JAM Sep 18 '12 at 13:47
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@JAM As Kinsella did. –  Kris Sep 18 '12 at 14:11
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