January 18th, 2005

Froud - bad faeries

What would Of Nazareth do?

Those of you irritated beyond measure by The Da Vinci Code really must have a look at this installment of The Language Log. 'Tis quite funny.

You know I can't do without an excerpt, so here goes:

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Geoffrey K. Pullum writes:

Done forever with my reading of The Da Vinci Code, I had to find a way of disposing of the offending object. (Even the title contains a linguistic error, Adam Gopnik points out in this week's issue of The New Yorker. Leonardo came from Vinci. Da Vinci is not a name. It's a prepositional phrase, like of Nazareth in Jesus of Nazareth. What would Of Nazareth do?)

But clogged recycling centers are now refusing to accept copies of Brown's book, and libraries are closing their after-hours book drops to avoid having people getting rid of them that way by night. So (I'm a cruel father, but fair) I hit upon the idea of sending the book on to my son Calvin, who I recently learned had not read it. Within a day or two after the package reached him I got an email:

The Da Vinci Code, page 30:
"Five months ago, the kaleidoscope of power had been shaken, and Aringarosa was still reeling from the blow."
What the fuck does that even mean?
Perhaps he meant something like: "The kaleidoscope of power had been shaken and the orange-green pattern of courage had been consumed by the yellow-red jumble of fear"?

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(It goes on, too. Follow the links within that entry. Almost as fun as lampooning J.K. Rowling's misplaced modifiers!)