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I am a devotee of witty conversation. Dinner parties that I attend have been known to last up to four hours, with the breezy banter flying fast and thick. At such dinner parties, we often try to emulate the legendary Algonquin Round Table.

I developed the notion of a semantic dance as a result of these dinner parties. A semantic dance is a witty verbal exchange between two or more people. One of my favorite semantic dances is what i call the Topical Hop. Much like word association, the Topical Hop consists of "hopping" quickly from one topic to another, so long as they are related. In one such Topical Hop, I and a friend went from Thomas Aquinas to Rodgers and Hammerstein in six "hops." One could think of the topical as a sort of super-mini live action Everything2: finding a string of connections that join seemingly disparate topics.

Another semantic dance I shamelessly appropriated ("stolen" is such a harsh word) from Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, namely the game of Questions. The two "dancers" can only speak in questions. Not permitted are repeated questions, grunts, and non sequiturs. A further challenge is to keep the pace quick; hesitating before replying results in a loss.

A third semantic dance is the Innuendo Tango. This dance consists simply of speaking in a string of innuendoes. Again, the challenge is to keep the pace brisk.

More semantic dances are always possible. The basic "floor pattern" is simply two-fold: sharp wit and brisk pace.

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