Archive | Language Matters

No New Tricks Here

In the house where I grew up, the sports radio was always blaring, the TV too, and everyone talked over each other and through everything else at the top of their lungs. I learned to read and do my homework in that racket but promised myself I’d be a silence worshipper if I managed to grow up. And in fact these days I do insist on living alone and uphold quiet as more glamorous than champagne sipped upon a velvet divan. But the truth of the truth is that whenever I want to get any big writing done I have to work in the noisiest environment I can find: a house full of screaming kids, a bustling coffee shop, my noisy stoop. If I ever want to finish my book I probably will have to set up a desk in the middle of Times Square. Old habits don’t die hard; they don’t die at all. We just find a rhinestone-studded collar with which we may tame them.

Essential 2012 Film Term: Cinennui

cinennui \sin-on-WEE\ (noun): 1. A weariness and/or dissatisfaction related to cinema. 2. A malaise borne of viewing too many films in too short a period. Symptoms include a rare strain of Tourette Syndrome marked by involuntary sighing, snorting, smartphone-checking, and eye-rolling during screenings; a myopia that only can be corrected by big black glasses; an allergy to supersized artificial butter-flavored popcorn; an imperviousness to new works by David O. Russell; an inability to speak without arcane cinematic references and ’80s movie quotes; a protracted tendency to love or hate everything. Cures include thrice-daily sessions with Woody Allen’s psychoanalyst or (preferably) an exorcist; beat-downs from people who actually work for a living; fresh air; a viewing of Singin’ in the Rain, any movie starring Marilyn Monroe (pictured here), and/or one directed by Preston Sturges or Billy Wilder. From the snooty French-Spoonerist dialect known as Lisoise. Synonym: unmovied (adj).

Essential 2012 Film Term: Sledgehelmer


Sledgehelmer \ˈslej-helm-mər\ (noun): A film director who drives his or her points home with great gusto and an even greater lack of subtlety. From the ancient Yiddish-Bostonian-Spoonerist dialect known as Liserese. See: Andrew Dominik (pictured left), Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy