Saturday, June 25, 2005


"I'd expected the ingenious, but this is ingenuous!!"

-- Dr. Moriarty

It was an oddly strong shock for me to hear this bit of dialog in an old Sherlock Holmes movie I watched the other evening, the line written and crisply delivered in confidence that a movie audience of that day (ca. 60 years ago) would have sufficient vocabular agility to grasp and appreciate the precision and aptness of that complex bit of wordplay flashing by. (And the movie producer agreed!) A pretty far cry from the monosyllabic movie dialogs uzi-ing out now, and in a B movie no less. Two subtly nuanced four-syllable words counterposed in one sentence of a movie script of today? No way.

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