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I am looking for a word that means "theoretically should not make sense or work, but actually does"

It starts with an a or e.

closed as off-topic by alwayslearning, Mari-Lou A, Drew, Cascabel, Skooba Mar 13 '17 at 12:01

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – alwayslearning, Mari-Lou A, Drew, Cascabel, Skooba
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  • There are two (and only two) ways to describe something that should not work in theory, but does work in practice: (a) a flawed theory; or (b) a miracle. But perhaps you meant a paradox. – michael.hor257k Mar 12 '17 at 12:54
  • Another guessing game. From the SWR tag info: "To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. YOU MUST INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE demonstrating how the word would be used." – Cascabel Mar 12 '17 at 19:42
  • I wonder if you are thinking of anomaly - an anomaly is some observation or known fact which cannot be explained by a theory and doesn't fit in with the theory. According to theory the anomaly shouldn't happen. . Beginning with E there is empirical - something which works empirically doesn't contradict a theory exactly, but it does not depend on theory. Neither of these seems exactly what you describe but I wonder if one of them is what you have in mind. – davidlol Mar 12 '17 at 20:53
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You could try enigma, which, according to Merriam-Webster, means:

something hard to understand or explain

Dictionary.com gives another interpretation:

a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation

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