Vedant Misra

Founder/CEO at an AI startup called Kemvi. I'm interested in artificial intelligence, consciousness, rationality, neuroscience, markets, and Mexican food.

The Only Reason I'd Commit Arson...

...would be to use the word "ucalegon" in a sentence. Although "ucalegon" isn't in the Oxford English Dictionary, which means it won't be in any other English dictionary, I'd seen the word before in a collection of unusual and interesting words and phrases. Indeed, I asked the Internet, by means of the Google, to tell me what it means, and I was informed:

A Ucalegon is a neighbour whose house is on fire. It seems impossible that there should be a word for this, but here you are (courtesy of Trojan legend, in which Ucalegon was an unfortunate, burned-out neighbour of Aeneas). An extremely rare word, though one should not be burning to have a chance to use it.


There you have it, ladies and gentlemen; that explains it quite thoroughly. They didn't even leave me a chance to make the one pun I thought up...burning desire...

Like I said, I'd burn a house down just to yell out "Hey! Crap! Call the fire department! We have a ucalegon!" No I wouldn't do that, I'm just kidding. Except maybe I'm not. Dear neighbors: if you see me in your house splashing gasoline around, just do everyone a favor and get your stuff outta the way, you crazy ucalegons-to-be.