A much-quoted item of sf Terminology, originally introduced in the anarcho-religious tract Principia Discordia (1965) by Kerry Thornley and Greg Hill, and widely popularized in the Illuminatus! trilogy (1975) by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. In the Paranoia-riddled context of an assumed global conspiracy, fnords are defined as deliberately inserted keywords – for which the invented term "fnord" is a generic placeholder – which as a result of supposed childhood conditioning we do not perceive (see Perception) within the text of newspapers, magazines or books, but which nevertheless Subliminally generate unease and stifle rational thought. [DRL]
see also: Basilisks; Meme.
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