Monday, March 16, 2009


On Friday evening I had the distinct pleasure of watching the second half of the recent film, Snyecdoche, New York, directed by Charlie Kaufman w/ Philip Seymour Hoffman. I would have preferred to see the whole movie but arrived late.
However for this post the important part is not the movie but the word "snyecdoche". Snyecdoche is a funny word, especially with the pronunciative play on place from the title of the movie. Snyecdoche also inspired humor from the editors of the OED, the definition of which follows:
   A figure by which a more comprehensive term is used for a less comprehensive or vice versâ; as whole for part or part for whole, genus for species or species for genus, etc.  Formerly sometimes used loosely or vaguely, and not infrequently misexplained.
1) I love the fact the editors put the comment in that the word is "...not infrequently misexplained.":
2) I have no idea what is meant by starting this commentary with something as awkward as "Formerly sometimes..."
3) I'm still fairly confused when to actually use this word as it appears to be able to refer to two entirely different situations at once without half trying and without, seemingly, to give fair warning.
Watching the second half of the movie does help, maybe.


sizemore said...

how was it?

Jeremy McGinniss said...

I only watched the last hour or so but it was awesome! The writing/storyline is brilliant and just plain good. It is definitively postmodern as the story is told non-linearly and in massive gaps. The set design is great, cinematography is awesome. The ending is symphonically abrupt but exactly in keeping with the tone of the movie. There's moments throughout of what I suppose would be called black/gallows humor and they are hilarious and extremely well-timed. There is some nudity which is a bit distracting but it's not gratuitously sexual so that helps.
I need to go back and watch the beginning of it but I would highly recommend it based on what I saw.