The Domino Effect

A domino is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block the face of which is blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice. Its name comes from the Latin dominus, meaning “master,” or in the French form dominie, used as a title for schoolmasters. The word subsequently took on the sense of a game played with this type of tile and later, through a series of transformations, came to refer to the hooded robe worn with an eye mask at a masquerade ball. The term arose in the late 18th century and by the early 20th, domino had entered common usage as a name for the puzzles that are designed to test players’ ability to match ends of adjacent tiles.

Dominos are a popular toy and can be found in almost every household. They are also a favorite pastime for millions of people around the world. The game can be played on any flat surface but is more fun on a hard floor to prevent the pieces from sliding and breaking. The first player to complete a line of all matching dominoes wins. Some sets include a set of rules, but most games are played as a free for all, with each player taking turns based on the number of pips in their dominoes.

While dominoes are usually placed in a straight line, some creative individuals like to create curved lines and grids that form pictures or 3D structures. Some create mind-blowing setups that can take days to build, such as a train or castle. The process of creating these arrangements is similar to engineering design and requires careful planning.

The success of Domino’s Pizza can be attributed to the company’s dedication to listening to its customers. Domino’s founder, David Monaghan, made a point of putting the pizzerias near college campuses to target his core audience and increase sales. When the current CEO, Don Meij, appeared on the show Undercover Boss, he took it upon himself to visit a busy Domino’s store and analyze the way that employees worked. He was quick to implement changes that included a more relaxed dress code and new leadership training programs.

In writing, the idea of a domino effect is often used to describe how one event can cause other events to follow in rapid sequence. This can be a positive or negative influence, depending on the context of use. For example, if a heroine discovers a clue about her case and then is attacked by a rival, this could be considered a negative domino effect because it will likely delay the progress of her investigation.

The domino image is also useful for describing the impact of one scene on its immediate surroundings in a novel. If the premise of a story is solid, but the next scene fails to raise the tension or create a conflict, it can feel as if everything has fallen apart. This is especially true for writers who don’t outline their plots or use software such as Scrivener to help them keep track of their scenes.