In yesterday’s NYT Book Review, a set of reviews of audiobooks, including one by by Kathryn Harrison of Jo Nesbo’s Blood on Snow as read by Patti Smith. Harrison sees a mismatch between the novel’s protagonist Olav as she understands him and Olav in Smith’s speech style (which Harrison refers to as diction).
Archive for the ‘Style and register’ Category
Today’s Zippy, featuring Judge Judy and her hectoring courtroom speech style:
Judge Judy is something of a preoccupation in Zippy, often in combination with Donald Trump (for instance, #2 on 3/17/14, #1 on 5/26/14), sometimes with other pop culture icons (JJ, Howie Mandel, and Dr. Phil on 8/17/13).
In the NYT Magazine on Sunday (the 15th), an article, “The Last Volunteer”, with an account, as told to Dan Kaufman, from Del Berg:
Del Berg, 99, is the last known surviving veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a contingent of nearly 3,000 Americans who fought to defend the democratically elected government during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.
The beginning of his story:
It was 1937, and the Fascists had already revolted in Spain. I was walking down a street in Hollywood when I saw a sign — “Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade” — written on the side of a building. I turned the corner, opened the door and went in. The people inside said, “What can we do for you?” I said, “I want to go to Spain.” They couldn’t legally send people to Spain, they told me, but did I want to help? I did. My life started with poverty and then came the Depression. I felt a certain responsibility to help the Spanish workers and farmers.
They told me to go to an organization called the Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy. I was put to work there helping organize meetings and collecting clothes for the Republic. There was a younger guy working with me. One day he turned to me and said, “Do you want to go to Spain?” I said yes, I sure do. He said, “I’ll tell you whom to go see.”
That whom caught my eye; it sounded awfully formal for the context.
Passed on to me, this 2007 Phil Selby cartoon:
A take-off on door-to-door evangelizing, by (in particular) Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, using the pun Jesus – cheeses to move things to the world of mice, who are famously fond of cheese.
A while back, we witnessed Calvin’s competence in writing tabloid headlines. Yesterday he took on talk radio:
“Imagine getting paid to act like a six-year-old!”
Today’s Calvin and Hobbes, in which Calvin shows his mastery of tabloid headline writing:
Calvin’s doing well on the headline register (simple present tense for reporting events, omission of articles) used with other stylistic features (lexical choices in ichthyoid, grim melee, devours) and a breathless framing of the report, to reproduce the genre of tabloid headlines.
(Warning: some material about gay sex in plain language.)
On AZBlogX, a posting about a “cast album” for the gay porn flick Crave. Here, some reflections about this (conventionalized) visual format, an analogue to to conventionalized formats for linguistic material, variously referred to as “styles”, “registers”, “routines”, or “genres” (the terminological issues are vexed indeed) — choices of linguistic features that come together in packages, for use in specific contexts for specific purposes.