Saturday, May 17, 2003

Well. Been a while. My blogging -- and this is a good thing -- fell by the wayside in the face of the *paid* work I was doing. So this spring I translated a short story, a play, and a screenplay. I'm pretty happy about that. Now that the screenplay is done, though . . . well, I don't know.

Anyway, here's something for you. A little on the late side, but still. My nomination for Funniest Sentence Published in English in 2002:

The sentence appeared in a review of Ready, Steady, Go! The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London, by Shawn Levy, in the Fall 2002 issue of Book Forum. The review was written by Geoff Dyer and (hooray!) is online. Here it is.

The sentence I am nominating is the last sentence of the review. It makes no sense unless you get the whole graf, though. The envelope, please:

"That is not the only occasion when the intervening Atlantic puts a strain on the book. Levy aspires to an argot appropriate to his subject, but his attempts to get on friendly terms with an alien idiom sometimes result in a weird hybrid. My favorite example comes when Levy discusses Ray Davies's 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion.' The song 'reached number four in the charts in early 1966, and surely some of the people who put it there were the very sorts out of whom the song was taking the piss.' How quaint, in a book about the 1960s, to find an author coming out with the sort of English up with which Winston Churchill claimed he would not put."