- Turn aside; turn away from
- Be at variance with; be out of line with
Synonyms: vary, diverge, depart
- Cause to turn away from a previous or expected course
- A person whose behaviour deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behaviour
Synonyms: pervert, deviant, degenerate
- Markedly different from an accepted norm
Derived forms: deviated, deviating, deviates
Quotations: Frank Zappa – Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
Vladimir Nabokov – I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader’s mind. Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.
Groucho Marx – The trouble with writing a book about yourself is that you can’t fool around. If you write about someone else, you can stretch the truth from here to Finland. If you write about yourself the slightest deviation makes you realize instantly that there may be honor among thieves, but you are just a dirty liar.
Ravi Ravindra – As spiritual searchers we need to become freer and freer of the attachment to our own smallness in which we get occupied with me-me-me. Pondering on large ideas or standing in front of things which remind us of a vast scale can free us from acquisitiveness and competitiveness and from our likes and dislikes. If we sit with an increasing stillness of the body, and attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad stars at night, or any other indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy. Also recalling our own experiences in which we acted generously or with compassion for the simple delight of it without expectation of any gain can give us more confidence in the existence of a deeper goodness from which we may deviate.
Orson Scott Card – A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife’s adultery and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death. There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine – a Speaker for the Dead – has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I’m going to tell you. The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. Is there any man here, he says to them, who has not desired another man’s wife, another woman’s husband? They murmur and say, we all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it. The Rabbi says, then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong. He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he’ll know I am his loyal servant. So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder. Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone. The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. Someday, they think, I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated. As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. Nor am I without sins, he says to the people, but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it. So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance. The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So of course, we killed him.-San Angelo Letters to an Incipient Heretic
Jasper Fforde – Tell me, has anything odd happened to you recently? What do you mean odd? Unusual. Deviating from the customary. Something outside the usual parameters of normalcy. An occurrence of unprecedented weird.
Vladimir Nabokov – Nowadays you have to be a scientist if you want to be a killer. No, no, I was neither. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, the majority of sex offenders that hanker for some throbbing, sweet-moaning, physical but not necessarily coital, relation with a girl-child, are innocuous, inadequate, passive, timid strangers who merely ask the community to allow them to pursue their practically harmless, so-called aberrant behavior, their little hot wet private acts of sexual deviation without the police and society cracking down upon them. We are not sex fiends! We do not rape as good soldiers do. We are unhappy, mild, dog-eyed gentlemen, sufficiently well integrated to control our urge in the presence of adults, but ready to give years and years of life for one chance to touch a nymphet. Emphatically, no killers are we. Poets never kill.
Jessica Park – Why do you have to correct everything I say? Julie glanced at his FTW! Shirt. Out of the two of us, I don’t think I’m the one that deviates from the norm. The train slammed to a stop. You’re the one who seems to get off arguing. You sound exactly like Finn. We’re exchanging ideas. Debating. Matt looked down at his shorts. And so far I haven’t gotten off.
Hanya Yanagihara – When your child dies, you feel everything you’d expect to feel, feelings so well-documented by so many others that I won’t even bother to list them here, except to say that everything that’s written about mourning is all the same, and it’s all the same for a reason – because there is no read deviation from the text. Sometimes you feel more of one thing and less of another, and sometimes you feel them out of order, and sometimes you feel them for a longer time or a shorter time. But the sensations are always the same. But here’s what no one says – when it’s your child, a part of you, a very tiny but nonetheless unignorable part of you, also feels relief. Because finally, the moment you have been expecting, been dreading, been preparing yourself for since the day you became a parent, has come. Ah, you tell yourself, it’s arrived. Here it is. And after that, you have nothing to fear again.
Richelle Mead – Adrian, we hashed this out! Everything’s gone perfectly until now. Why would you even think about deviating from the plan?’ Um, because that’s how we roll?
- Those who talk about individuality the most are the ones who most object to deviation, and in a few years it may be the other way around. Some day everybody will just think what they want to think, and then everybody will probably be thinking alike; that seems to be what is happening.
- To be sane, he held, was either to be sedated by melancholy or activated by hysteria, two responses which were always and equally warranted for those of sound insight. All others were irrational, merely symptoms of imaginations left idle, of memories out of work. And above these mundane responses, the only elevation allowable, the only valid transcendence, was a sardonic one: a bliss that annihilated the universe with jeers of dark joy, a mindful ecstasy. Anything else in the way of ‘mysticism’ was a sign of deviation or distraction, and a heresy to the obvious.
- I realize that I was all error and deviation, that I never lived, and that I existed only in so far as I filled time with consciousness and thought.
- Evidence indicates that cats were first tamed in Egypt. The Egyptians stored grain, which attracted rodents, which attracted cats. No evidence that such a thing happened with the Mayans, though a number of wild cats are native to the area. I don’t think this is accurate. It is certainly not the whole story. Cats didn’t start as mousers. Weasels and snakes and dogs are more efficient as rodent-control agents. I postulate that cats started as psychic companions, as Familiars, and have never deviated from this function.
- State propaganda, when supported by the educated classes and when no deviation is permitted from it, can have a big effect. It was a lesson learned by Hitler and many others, and it has been pursued to this day.
- The least deviation from truth will be multiplied later.
- I’m a fundamentalist in the true sense. That is to say, I follow the fundamentals of religion. But for over 1,400 years people have been interpreting and re-interpreting the religion to suit their own purpose! These extremist and terrorist acts are not Islamic fundamentals any more than the Christians who burned people at the stake are fundamentalist. They are actually deviating from the teachings of the religion!
- The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.
- I made an oath to myself as long as I live as long as my soul remains in this body I won’t deviate from the right way but later I looked to my left and then to my right and I saw our beloved everywhere how could I make a wrong turn?
- America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can’t ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can’t lose what you lacked at conception. Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a reckless verisimilitude can set that line straight. The real Trinity of Camelot was Look Good, Kick Ass, and Get Laid. Jack Kennedy was the mythological front man for a particularly juicy slice of our history. He called a slick line and wore a world-class haircut. He was Bill Clinton minus pervasive media scrutiny and a few rolls of flab. Jack got whacked at the optimum moment to assure his sainthood. Lies continue to swirl around his eternal flame. It’s time to dislodge his urn and cast light on a few men who attended his ascent and facilitated his fall. They were rouge cops and shakedown artist. They were wire tappers and soldiers of fortune and faggot lounge entertainers. Had one second of their lives deviated off course, American History would not exist as we know it. It’s time to demythologize an era and build a new myth from the gutter to the stars. It’s time to embrace bad men and the price they paid to secretly define their time. Here’s to them.
- Never having experienced inequality, therefore, the majority of straight white men will be absolutely oblivious to their own advantages – not because they must necessarily be insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic or unaware of the principles of equality; but because they have been told, over and over again, that there is no inequality left for them or anyone else to experience and everything they have experienced up to that point will only have proved them right. Let the impact of that sink in for a moment. By teaching children and teenagers that equality already exists, we are actively blinding the group that most benefits from inequality straight white men to the prospect that it doesn’t. Privilege to them feels indistinguishable from equality, because they’ve been raised to believe that this is how the world behaves for everyone. And because the majority of our popular culture is straight-white-male-dominated, stories that should be windows into empathy for other, less privileged experiences have instead become mirrors, reflecting back at them the one thing they already know: that their lives both are important and free from discrimination. And this hurts men. It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished. It hurts them by saying they will always be inferior parents and caregivers, that they must always be active and aggressive even when they long for passivity and quietude, that they must enjoy certain things like sports and beer and cars or else be deemed morally suspect. It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening, and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money.
- No matter the deviation, all things come full circle. You begin and end your journey in the same place, but with a different set of eyes.
- Never deviate from the path unless you are going to make love in the bushes.
- I do not mean to say that I viewed those desires of mine that deviated from accepted standards as normal and orthodox; nor do I mean that I laboured under the mistaken impression that my friends possessed the same desires. Surprisingly enough, I was so engrossed in tales of romance that I devoted all my elegant dreams to thoughts of love between man and maid, and to marriage, exactly as though I were a young girl who knew nothing of the world. I tossed my love for Omi onto the rubbish heap of neglected riddles, never once searching deeply for its meaning. Now when I write the word love, when I write affection, my meaning is totally different from my understanding of the words at that time. I never even dreamed that such desires as I had felt toward Omi might have a significant connection with the realities of my life.
- Women, even the most oppressed among us, do exercise power. These powers can be used to advance feminist struggle. Forms of power held by exploited and oppressed groups are described in Elizabeth Janeway’s important work Powers of the Weak. One of the most significant forms of power held by the weak is the refusal to accept the definition of oneself that is put forward by the powerful. Janeway call this the ordered use of the power to disbelieve. She explains: It is true that one may not have a coherent self-definition to set against the status assigned by the established social mythology, and that is not necessary for dissent. By disbelieving, one will be led toward doubting prescribed codes of behaviour, and as one begins to act in ways that can deviate from the norm in any degree, it becomes clear that in fact there is not just one right way to handle or understand events. Women need to know that they can reject the powerful definition of their reality that they can do so even if they are poor, exploited, or trapped in oppressive circumstances. They need to know that the exercise of this basic personal power is an act of resistance and strength. Many poor and exploited women, especially non-white women, would have been unable to develop positive self-concepts if they had not exercised their power to reject the powerful’s definition of their reality. Much feminist thought reflects women’s acceptance of the definition of femaleness put forth by the powerful. Even though women organizing and participating in feminist movement were in no way passive, unassertive, or unable to make decisions, they perpetuated the idea that these characteristics were typical female traits, a perspective that mirrored male supremacist interpretation of women’s reality. They did not distinguish between the passive role many women assume in relation to male peers and/or male authority figures, and the assertive, even domineering, roles they assume in relation to one another, to children, or to those individuals, female or male, who have lower social status, who they see as inferiors, This is only one example of the way in which feminist activists did not break with the simplistic view of women’s reality s it was defined by powerful me. If they had exercised the power to disbelieve, they would have insisted upon pointing out the complex nature of women’s experience, deconstructing the notion that women are necessarily passive or unassertive.
- Self-denial can lock women into a smug and critical condescension to other, less devout women. According to Appel, cult members develop an attitude of moral superiority, a contempt for secular laws, rigidity of thought, and the diminution of regard for the individual. A premium is placed on conformity to the cult group; deviation is penalized. Beauty is derivative; conforming to the Iron Maiden an intrinsically unattainable standard of beauty that is then used to punish women physically and psychologically for failure to achieve and conform to it is beautiful. The aim of beauty thinking, about weight or age, is rigid female thought. Cult members are urged to sever all ties with the past: I destroyed all my fat photographs! It’s a new me!
- That is the true challenge to work within a narrow confine. To accept what you cannot have; that from which you cannot deviate.
- Tom laughed at the phrase sexual deviation. Where was the sex? Where was the deviation? He looked at Freddie and said low and bitterly: Freddie Miles, you’re a victim of your own dirty mind.
- The annoying thing about reading is that you can never get the job done. The other day I was in a bookstore flicking through a book called something like 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and, without naming names, you should be aware that the task set by the title is by definition impossible, because at least four hundred of the books suggested would kill you anyway, but reading begets reading–that’s sort of the point of it, surely? and anybody who never deviates from a set list of books is intellectually dead anyway.
- If you want to make money at some point, remember this, because this is one of the reasons startups win. Big companies want to decrease the standard deviation of design outcomes because they want to avoid disasters. But when you damp oscillations, you lose the high points as well as the low. This is not a problem for big companies, because they don’t win by making great products. Big companies win by sucking less than other big companies.
- Politicians are propaganda, the people with guns are the enforcers and the media is the enthusiastic lapdog who enables the entire behavior and acts as the verbal abuser against those who deviate from nodding their heads at the vast statues of evil that we inherited.
- We want our parents to be the norm from which we deviate.
- From my insufficiency to my perfection, and from my deviation to my equilibrium from my sublimity to my beauty, and from my splendor to my majesty from my scattering to my gathering, and from my rejection to my communion from my baseness to my preciousness, and from my stones to my pearls from my rising to my setting, and from my days to my nights from my luminosity to my darkness, and from my guidance to my straying from my perigee to my apogee, and from the base of my lance to its tip from my waxing to my waning, and from the void of my moon to its crescent from my pursuit to my flight, and from my steed to my gazelle from my breeze to my boughs, and from my boughs to my shade from my shade to my delight, and from my delight to my torment from my torment to my likeness, and from my likeness to my impossibility from my impossibility to my validity, and from my validity to my deficiency. I am no one in existence but myself.
- In those moments, which were eternal I assure you, I had no location in the universe, nothing to grasp for that minimum of security which every creature needs merely to exist without suffering from the sensation that everything is spinning ever faster on a cosmic carousel with only endless blackness at the edge of that wheeling ride. I know that your condition differs from mine, and therefore you have no means by which to fully comprehend my ordeals just as I cannot fully comprehend yours. But I do acknowledge that both our conditions are unendurable, despite the doctor’s second-hand platitude that nothing in this world is unendurable. I’ve even come to believe that the world itself, by its very nature, is unendurable. It’s only our responses to this fact that deviate: mine was being predominately a response of passive terror approaching absolute panic; yours being predominantly a response of gruesome obsessions that you fear you might act upon.
- Chance is commonly viewed as a self-correcting process in which a deviation in one direction induces a deviation in the opposite direction to restore the equilibrium. In fact, deviations are not corrected as a chance process unfolds, they are merely diluted.
- Though her emotions had not deviated from a jittery frailty she knew that in her own room she could at least attempt sleep and that if she dreamed she might then finally be with Henry.
- His feet started in her direction, his body following rather as a dog would its master, with no thought of deviating from the path chosen by her for him I am grabbed his arm and yanked him back.
- It is a highly valued function of society to prevent changes in the rules of the many games it embraces. Deviancy, however, is the very essence of culture. Whoever merely follows the script, merely repeating the past, is culturally impoverished. There are variations in the quality of deviation; not all divergence from the past is culturally significant. Any attempt to vary from the past in such a way as to cut the past off, causing it to be forgotten, has little cultural importance. Greater significance attaches to those variations that bring the tradition into view in a new way, allowing the familiar to be seen as unfamiliar, as requiring a new appraisal of all that we have been- and therefore all that we are. Cultural deviation does not return us to the past, but continues what was begun but not finished in the past. Properly speaking, a culture does not have a tradition; it is a tradition.
- I have begun to wonder where I came from. The person I am now, this fumbling, stumbling supplicant was I built on the foundations of my old life, or did I rise from the grave a blank state? How much of me is inherited, and how much is my own creation? Questions that were once just idle musings have begun to feel strangely urgent. Am I firmly rooted to what came before? Or can I choose to deviate?
- The lake was deviated to prevent flooding.