June 11, 2007

What Were They Thinking?

Is mechanical proofreading or authorial ineptitude principally responsible? You be the judge.

"In the role as villains, Tekatch's Mayella Ewell is a seething cauldron of tortured venom, while Wayne Best definitely limns her father Bob's cretinist penchant for violence." (Michael Posner, Globe and Mail, June 1 '07, review of To Kill a Mockingbird.) Okay, anybody, best guess: possible meaning? Likeliest hallucinogen involved in composition of sentence?

"If plots were people, this obese thing would be cuing up for liposuction." (Rick Groen, June 1 '07, review of Mrs. Brooks.) Have they started using pool tables instead of operating tables when performing liposuction now? Bad idea, IMHO. Even worse if they're using pool cues instead of scalpels.

"And wags, the pampered wives and girlfriends spending their partner's cash, take their places after a sterling performance accompanying the England football team at the 2006 World Cup." (Agence France Presse.) In this case I suspect inept translation had muddied the meaning of a sentence that in French was reasonably clear. A similar translation back into French (a Frenching of this Englished version as it were) might turn un peu surreal.

"The star appears always to have known that pity, in addition to stars, are blind." (Lynn Crobie, Globe and Mail, June 11 '07.) Are pity blind? Is our children learning?

C 2007 Martin Heavisides

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