Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Prime Candidate for a Spanking

Ms. Stacey Snider
Universal Pictures Chairman - Marketing

Dear Ms. Snider:

The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar loves Meryl Streep. We especially loved her turn as grammar-obsessed Aunt Josephine in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

But alas, we have been informed of an unfortunate event of a marketing nature regarding Ms. Streep’s movie, Prime.

It was generous of you to send a box of prime-quality frozen meats to key movie reviewers. And although we at SPOGG appreciated the pun, we were dismayed to read the accompanying note, which describes the film as “a real juicy romance.”

If the romance is literally oozing juice, which we hope it is not, then you would need a comma separating the words “real” and “juicy.” This is generally the case when you have a string of adjectives modifying a word, particularly one as tenderly evocative as romance or meat.

To research whether the movie literally dribbles the juice of Ms. Streep or the even more moist Uma Thurman, we visited your Web site, which informed us that Prime was “a gentle comedy that weaves a tale of two lovers trying to keep the flame alive as an unusual obstacle is hurled in their path.”

We suspect the unusual obstacle is metaphorical, and not, say, the box of frozen steaks and hamburger patties we wish we had received ourselves. While it would be comical to watch lovers dodge meat, it could hardly be described as gentle, either to the human or bovine participants.

Therefore, if the movie is merely metaphorically juicy, then we would recommend all further meat deliveries be accompanied with a note that describes Prime as a “really juicy” romance.

With that small change, your meat recipients can anticipate the joys of their meat and movie with all the appropriate forms of salivation, and none of the horror of unclear grammar.

Sincerely yours,


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