Saturday, April 03, 2010

Influence peddling

I posted some innocent speculation a few days ago about possible stylistic connections between Raymond Chandler and 1960s film making. Then I found another evocative passage from Chandler, only this time I won't tell you what it reminded me of. (I'll save myself some grief that way and let readers make their own connections, if they choose.)

The passage is from "Goldfish," published in Black Mask in June 1936:

"She was a tall, seedy, sad-eyed blonde who had once been a policewoman and had lost her job when she married a cheap bouncer named Johnny Horne, to reform him. She hadn't reformed him, but she was waiting for him to come out so she could try again."
(Even spell-checkers are politically correct these days. Mine flagged blonde. Of course, the programmers could simply have been ignorant of the grammatically valid distinction between blond and blonde. Computers, alas, are no smarter than the people who program them.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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8 Comments:

Blogger Linkmeister said...

A geeky character in a Dick Francis novel calls computers "TOMs." When asked, he says "They are Totally Obedient Morons."

April 06, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Very nice. I fear for the literacy of our culture with the withering of bookstores and libraries, the alarming reliance on spell-checkers, and the reduction of editing to an expendable luxury at newspapers and pubishing houses.

Incidentally, I see the rise of cute grammar books such as "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" as part of the problem. Correct diction, usage and grammar are a luxury, like years in Provence or one of 1,001 things to see before you die.

April 06, 2010  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

I remember when I read that description. I was working as a programmer at the time. I wanted to high-five the character.

'Course, debugging programs nearly drove me crazy, even my own.

April 07, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Someone said that computers are stupid because they will follow without question whatever one tells them.

April 07, 2010  
Blogger The Chosen One said...

you're surely not thinking of Lana Turner and Johnny Stampanato?

There's a dark humour in that quote that I'm currently racking my brains to connect

May 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

At this distance of time, I don't remember what I was thinking of. I think it was a type of story or plot line rather than a particular example, and I was thinking fiction, not real life. But the Turner-Stompanato story would work.

Criminy, was Stompanato the guy's real name? If I were a producer or director, I'd reject a name like that for a gangster. No one would believe it.

May 15, 2010  
Blogger The Chosen One said...

"....You say Stompanato, I say Stampanato, lets call the whole thing off!".
'Stomp-' certainly is more apt: I can just picture mobsters stomping on some squealers head, somewhere miles away from anywhere
('Stamp-' wouldn't be quite so psychopathic)

May 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Johnny Stomp or Johnny Stamp. Either one is too picturesque to be real.

May 15, 2010  

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