Michael J. Totten
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- The act of imbuing an ordinary occurrence with an inordinate sense of danger or drama. For instance, one might normally say, “Today I rode the A train to my first day at my new job.” However, were one to express this using a tottenism, one would say, “Today I rode the notoriously dangerous NYC subway system and managed to make to my first day on the job without getting mugged, murdered, or raped.” This is so named after the style of journalist Michael J. Totten. It is sometimes thought that tottenism also refers to stating an assertion based on a single experience or testimonial as an unassailable and universal fact. While this is another element of Mr. Totten’s style, we don’t have an expression for it yet.
- Richard Silverstein, Ethan's Journal, Tikkun Olam, 9 March 2006