Notes From Babel

“I Think We Need a Ruling on This”

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Over the holidays, I ritually go through my favorite Christmas movies.  Among the more unlikely members of that set is The Ref with Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey.  In the opening scene, Lloyd (Spacey’s character) and Caroline are meeting with their therapist over their many marital issues, one of them being Caroline’s affair.  After Caroline suggests that, under the circumstances, hers “shouldn’t even be counted as an affair,” Lloyd expresses the importance of being able to enforce the basic content of the words we use.

Dr. Wong:  Lloyd, how do you feel about Caroline’s affair?

Caroline:  He just wants me to wear a red “A” and sleep in the basement.

Lloyd:  Is that so unreasonable?

Caroline: Everything’s either black or white with him.  You know, he doesn’t… he doesn’t see where he’s responsible.   And I mean, it just didn’t mean anything to me.  It shouldn’t even be counted as an affair.

Lloyd:  I think we need a ruling on this.

Written by Tim Kowal

February 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Language, Uncategorized

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