Thursday, June 21, 2007

May We Suggest . . .

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. This John Ford film has John Wayne as a cowboy and Jimmy Stewart as a Philadelphia lawyer, not to mention Lee Marvin as the title's ironically named villain. Yet it gets no love these days. It seems every Western has to tear down the myth of the West and reinvent the genre, and this is no exception, but it at least it excels at what it sets out to do. Plus it comes equipped with a complex message. Watch it as a truly insightful allegory of the tension between law in a democratic society and man in a state of nature. Or, you know, for John Wayne shooting at people.

Using literally literally. I've grown a lot in the past few years when it comes to relaxing my English usage sticklerness, but I'm sticking to my guns about literally. It's got such a good original meaning: "Despite what I'm saying being a cliché, I mean that you should take it in its nonidomatic, plain-meaning sense." Instead, it's used all the time (and yes, has been for some time) to signify "I understand that what I'm saying is a cliché, and I do mean it figuratively, but I want to generically intensify it so that you don't dismiss it as a mere cliché." If you've got to adverb it up, please use actually or really, which are perfectly suitable in their generic senses, instead. If we don't preserve literally, how are we going to know when somebody truly does explode with emotion?

Key lime pie. Mrs. Good Reverend made this twice recently, and I must say it clearly deserves a comeback. It's fruity, it's pudding, it's pie—it's got everything you could want in a dessert. Except chocolate. But you can't have chocolate every time, can you? I'm so hungry right now.

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Image credits: "Cock and Pussy," matty!, courtesy Flickr, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes; "Key Lime Pie," Mrs. Maddog, courtesy Flickr, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.


Blogger Terra said...

Amen to the "literally" usage. I figuratively want to poke my own eyes out when people misuse "literally."

3:15 PM  

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