Oi! My stolen joke! And it was "Blasphemy! Blasphemy!" anyway. :p --CH
... Thank you oblivion for recalling that... incident.. to mind. "They're burning down my plot!" --Vitenka
NT has also heard the word used to mean something which is irrelevant, and generally just serves to mask the problem. The example in question was of the (relativistic) train aboard which two events took place, without there being any observers outside the train to get confused. Has anyone else heard it used this way?
ISTR a section of James Hudnall's articles on writing where he defines the Grail as the goal of a story, a McGuffin as a physical grail (eg suitcase of money), and then talks about "unconscious desire" where what actually matters to the hero isn't the ostensible Grail or McGuffin at all, but something of which they're initially unconscious. Yes - [here we are]. That seems related to what you describe...? --AC
There's a magic item in Werewolf (a WhiteWolf game) called the McGuffin. It does nothing apart from make people want to pick it up and hang on to it. --Requiem