Tuesday, 12 April 2011

criticizes, blunders and bores

Maybe I've just been reading too much Language Log, but on reading this the following phrase struck me as really, really funny.

Detective Lester Freamon, who worked wiretaps like Yo-Yo Ma on a cello.
...I'm not being stupid, am I? Yo-Yo Ma isn't well-known for conducting detailed detective work atop a cello, is he? I don't think he is. And I think that if he did try to do this he would probably do really badly at the detective work. He's not got any detective experience at all, to my knowledge. Plus he may well object to being asked to sit on his cello, which is probably really expensive.

I'm sure, in fact, that Lester Freamon would do a far better job, because although in The Wire he never actually sits on a cello this is unlikely to prove as large a handicap to the task as having no prior police training.

Perhaps I should be interpreting "like" as simply meaning "in the manner of", rather than "with as much skill as". Perhaps Freamon just somehow resembles Yo-Yo Ma, when he [Ma] is working wiretaps. Oh right no.

I am left with only one conclusion. WHAT A POOR ANALOGY. GET WORDS RIGHT MORE.

Finding this funny reminded me of an incident at work today. One of my high school students asked me, just before the end of the lesson: "Can we go now? We are Italian." I was the only one who laughed :-(


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