Wednesday, November 14, 2018

so why isn't "crepant" a word too?

Years ago, I sent my boss an email about two reports that didn't tie. I referred to the numbers that should have matched (but didn't) as "the discrepant figures."

"Discrepant?" my boss chuckled, questioning my choice of words.

"They don't match. There's a discrepancy." I clarified.

He questioned whether it was a real word, and I suggested he check dictionary.com.

Of course it was there, and my boss conceded the point. These years later I can admit that I wasn't sure it would be in the site -- I wasn't really sure it was a legitimate word.

A couple weeks ago I was reading an article about freedom of religion and came upon a quote by the 17th-century Puritan, Nathaniel Ward*, in which he used the word:

He that is willing to tolerate any religion or discrepant way of religion, besides his own, unless it be in matters merely indifferent, either doubts of his own, or is not sincere in it.

Despite it being more than a decade after we had had the exchange, I emailed my former boss the quote, noting that I am not the first person to use the word.**

My former boss simply noted that coming up with a quote from the 1600's doesn't really prove that a word is in general use today.



*No, I hadn't heard of him either.
** I also noted that I don't agree with or endorse the sentiment.

it's zmedsday! (iii)


Sunday, November 11, 2018

cinema history class: the vampire and the ballerina

Session: Italian Gothic Horror Month, Week 2
Movie 2: The Vampire and the Ballerina (1960)
Directed by Renato Polselli



As always, there may be spoilers here. And the trailer may be NSFW and/or NSFL

Plot:
Caught in a storm, members of a traveling dance troupe seek shelter in an ancient castle where they get caught up in vampiric shenanigans. Hilarity ensues.

Reaction:
V&B isn't exactly a masterpiece, but it's also not a bad little movie either.

The main plotline seems pretty standard, which may be why it didn't really hook me. But the execution isn't bad. Though, at the the end, I was confused about what happened to Luisa. Did she, having been vampirized, die in the sun? Or was there some kind of loophole that let her get away alive? That was never really explained.

One thing that I like is that it put its own twist on the whole vampire legend. The vampires I'd seen -- mostly Dracula and Dracula knockoffs were suave and sophisticated. But here the vampires have two sides -- at times they are quite ugly and demonic-looking, There's also an odd subplot here, with Herman jealously protecting his position. He traps and kills other vampires in order to maintain his status with Alda.

There were two extended dance sequences that really served as nothing but filler. Well, filler and eye candy, though 1960 vintage eye candy is very different than what we get today. At any rate, I think the film would have done better without them, or if they had been shortened. That said, one of the dancers (at about 50 minutes in) is doing what looks like an early version of the Batusi. So that's pretty cool.

Of particular note, the melting scene, when the vampires finally die in the sunlight, was executed particularly well -- it may be the best I've ever seen.

Ratings:
Me: 7*
Dave: 9.3-9.4
Ethan: 6
Joe: 9.9
Sean: 1 out of 4

*Upon initial viewing I rated this a 6. After rewatching on Youtube, I increased that 6 to a 7.