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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
 

Can we stop making names adjectives? Especially authors and playwrights? Every time I see or hear a name being turned into an adjective it makes me want to shove that person off a curb, so that they'll fall onto the pavement with an embarrassing and clumsy thud.

Anything described as "Kafkaesque" usually has nothing to do with Kafka at all. Just because there is a nightmarish situation without any real explanation or solution, that does not mean that it is "Kafkaesque". You know what it is? A fucked up situation.

The only reason I can think of for using a name as an adjective is to show everyone how well-read you are. Otherwise, there is a another way to explain it, a way that will still make you look smart without making you look like a asshole.

In just the past week, I've heard "Beckett-ish" and "Durang-esque" used. The best part is that the "Durang-esque" culprit made sure to note, "I did not coin that word. It's an actual word!" Which only tells me, "I'm not the pretentious ass who thought up this idiotic term. I'm just the pretentious ass that copied it."

I once heard someone say "Tarantino-esque". What the fuck is Tarantino-esque? When did he earn an -esque? Does that mean that the piece is hyperviolent and filled with pop culture references? Or that it stars Uma Thurman? Or that it has a shot from the trunk of a car in it?

The adjective-as-name trend has got me so cheesed that I want to make my writing as diverse as possible so that Gable-esque will never, ever become an adjective.

And now, just to prove that I'm a huge hypocrite, here are occasions in my past writings where I've used the -esque adjective that I've grown to hate:

* "The Ernest Thompson comedy that invites every shaky Hepburn-esque septuagenarian to talk about the loooooons." (09/08/05)

* "And then I watch Brey, who walks around in a way that is almost balletic in its fluidity and Keatonesque in its innocent humor." (03/10/05)

* "...(right down to the 'Hamlet'-esque plot device of a son talking to the ghost of his father)." (10/12/04)

* "I feel like I could at least write a post in this blog that is about something more arresting and profound than this Fellini-esque post about not being able to write anything" (10/08/04)

Further proof. I'm an ass.


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