September 2009 Archives

It never calls, it never writes

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Headline today on the BBC website:

Pope could make Birmingham visit

Birmingham hasn't visited in months, and I was beginning to think it never would. So I'm pleased to see that the Pope has the ability to force it to visit. I only hope he chooses to exercise that ability.

Variety slang

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Variety has been using idiosyncratic and hyperbolic slang for about a hundred years now: ankle, biopic, boffo, chopsocky, helm, hoofer, nix, oater, percenter, scribbler, skein, sudser, terp, warble, whammo, yawner, etc.

It turns out that the official website now provides a glossary page explaining a lot of their terms.

Some of the terms listed are not specific to Variety, of course. But some words that have become common in everyday use—such as "sitcom"—were apparently coined by Variety.

Another pan


Another entertainingly harsh movie review:

There's nothing wrong with "All About Steve" that a rewrite couldn't fix, as long as the rewrite involved a different writer, a different character and a different story.

Michael Phillips on All About Steve

go down a storm

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Hadn't encountered this idiom before; apparently it means about the same thing as "go over well." (And not at all the same thing as "go down the storm drain.")

I first saw it in the Telegraph: "Vladimir Putin's Poland war speech will go down a storm in Russia." A blog called "Experimental Linguistics" posted some cites back in 2004.

I'm guessing it's common in the UK.

Acronyms in a song

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A few weeks back, I heard a country song on the radio in which the singer sang:

I smell T.R.O, you B.L.E.

I puzzled for a while over what T.R.O. and B.L.E. were before I got it.

It may be more obvious in print, but if you don't see it, say it aloud a couple of times. And/or Google [Travis Tritt T.R.O.], which will also reveal the name of the song.

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