The following bit from The Crying of Lot 49 puzzled me until I learned that Pynchon was, at one point, an engineering student at Cornell:
At some indefinite passage in night's sonorous score, it also came to her that she would be safe, that something, perhaps only her linearly fading drunkenness, would protect her.
I may have trouble with interpretation, but I know what linear fading means.
Update: more vestiges of an engineering education from Pynchon,
She knews, because she held him, that he suffered DT's. Behind the initials was a metaphor, a delirium tremens, a trembling unfurrowing of the mind's plowshare..."dt," God help this old tattooed man, meant also a time differential, a vanishingly small instant in which change had to be confronted at last for what it was, where it could no longer disguise itself as something innocuous like an average rate; where velocity dwelled in the projectile be frozen in midflight, where death dwelled...
Thank God someone is educating english majors about infinitesimals.