Sunday, November 12, 2006

The American Look

The definitive Populuxe film on 1950s automotive, industrial, interior and architectural design. This documentary really embodies the essence of this (50s) period. From the thinmgs freatures and the way it is shot to the music score it is a fantastic piece of refence.

In 3 parts.

Thanks Optimal Zen, for switching me on.

O.Z. describes the use of language in the narration as "corkscrew english". For example: "wonderful possessions of new grace and glamour are offered the american people" vs. "we offer. americans wonderful possessions of new grace and glamour."

I found a further ref ro "corkscrew english: here.

George Bernard Shaw once said, "In literature, the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language; the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it." In today's world, if literary pretense is diminishing-- because no one's reading the classics anymore-- it is being replaced by a hybrid, awkward approach to language. Apparently, too many writers are watching too much television-- specifically talk shows, cop shows, reality shows, and advertising. They have allowed terms like "perp" and "proceeded" replace the terms "the guy/man/woman" and "walked/jogged/trod/ran/strode" that should have been used; and advertising descriptions, e.g., "a refreshing drink," have sometimes replaced descriptions based on real observation and appropriate to the context. It's no wonder that, as Katharine Hepburn said in The Philadelphia Story, "all that… corkscrew English" shows up.

1 comment:

danimc said...

The newscasters on NY1 routinely say 'the cops' instead of 'the police'. It still sounds weird to me, especially when Lewis Dodley says it in his patented 'I'm wacked out on vicodin' drawl.