Internet Commenters Demand Legislation Against Complex Sentences

Hello, readers. How are you? I am hunky-dory.

Today was a good day. I got to rest. I ate good food. I watched some DVD extras. One was a documentary. It was about A Night to Remember. That movie was about the Titanic. The documentary was not fun. The photos were okay. The narrators were all very old men. They talked a lot. Sometimes they talked for many minutes. They talked very slowly. Sometimes there were very long pauses. Then they talked some more. They were nice men. I felt like a great-grandchild. I did not see the last fifteen minutes. I stopped the DVD early. I was sleepy.

Then I got on the Internet. It has interesting pages. I wanted to read a movie review. It was about The Master. I have mentioned that movie before. Joaquin Phoenix is angry and confused. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is charming and maybe evil. Amy Adams is happy and unhappy. I may go see it. I have not decided. My city is not showing it yet. Maybe they will show it in October.

The review was written by a movie critic. Her name is Lisa Schwarzbaum. Her boss is named Entertainment Weekly. She has worked there for decades. She likes itty-bitty foreign films. She also likes movies about sexiness. Sometimes I do not agree with her. Sometimes I do. She uses big words and long sentences. I can usually understand her. Sometimes I also use big words and long sentences. Sometimes she mentions really weird movies. That does not bother me. Sometimes I also talk about weird things.

Ms. Schwarzbaum liked The Master very much. She gave it an A. Her review had big words and long sentences. This was the last sentence of her review:

The cubism of the concluding third of the picture allows a disoriented viewer to consider this singular movie not only as a character portrait, but also as a photographic travel diary, from the days before Instagram, by an important artist following the itinerary of Americans seeking salvation and prosperity when an exterior world war was over but interior psychological battles raged.

The word “cubism” threw me for a moment. I looked it up on the Internet. It has dictionaries and WikiPedia in it. I found Cubism in there. Now I understand the whole sentence. “Cubism” is a good word for a Paul Thomas Anderson film.

Some readers did not like her review. They really did not like her last sentence. A few readers said mean things about her. One reader said this direct quote:

…it is exhausting – why does she have to create super complex sentences with thesaurus worthy big words – it doesn’t impress me, it belittles me. and that last sentence, WTF? I’d hate to be stuck next to a cooler with her, attempting to carry on a conversation about the latest small town drama. Know your audience.

Her audience does not like long sentences or big words. “Entertainment” is a big word. Lisa’s words are mostly shorter than “entertainment”. They should rename the magazine Things Weekly. The audience would like them better.

Another unhappy reader said this direct quote:

“the cubism of the final third……….” this sentence is not only THE most pretentious piece of critical crap I’ve ever read, it also convinced me not see the probable load of “important” blarney that inspired it.

The Internet has many pretentious pieces of critical crap. I have read some of them. I usually do not rank them. Some reviews can be pretentious and not crap. Sometimes I like pretentiousness. That word is even bigger than “entertainment”. It does not scare me. I used to be an English major. Other English majors scared me. One time our class talked about “Murders in the Rue Morgue”. That is an old story about gross murders. One victim was stuffed inside a chimney. One classmate had a theory about the scene’s meaning. He used the phrase “return-to-the-womb motif”. I was very scared. I wanted to leave class immediately. Now I am older. I have conquered that fear.

Ms. Schwarzbaum probably writes how she wants. Maybe she even thinks that way. Her writing made other people sad. She should rewrite her last sentence. It should be many sentences. The sad people might like the new sentences. They could look like this:

The movie shows you things about each character. Some of those things are very different from each other. It takes place in the past. The old places tell one long story. It is better than random photos. The story comes after a war. People were not happy yet. They had a lot to think about. They tried to make money and be saved. The movie is very good. The director is neat.

Shorter sentences can be happier sentences. The biggest word in those sentences is “different”. That word should not be scary. I think Liza Schwarzbaum is a different writer. Maybe I am a very different reader.

Well, got to go. Have a nice day. I will see you all tomorrow. My next entry may have commas and more clauses in it because of pretentiousness. I hope you will not hate my important blarney. I promise I will not read it aloud to you with extra long pauses. That might make it worse.

2 responses

  1. I really can’t tell you how much I love this. I am looking very much forward to seeing The Master because my boyfriend is incredibly into film and he thinks it will be great. I like movies sometimes, but really, his enthusiasm is contagious.
    That’s beside the point.

    More of the point is that thinking of “Things Weekly” is going to be one of my new favorite games. Whenever I get a bit resentful of something or someone or some situation that has to do with that sort of arena of life, I will simply remember that entertainment is a very long word and perhaps it could be called “Things Weekly” to meet the needs of lots of people.
    Have you considered working for The Onion?


    • Considering the stylistic debt I owe to The Onion‘s distinctive method of headline writing (for this and several past entries), I tend to think that if I sent them a resumé. they’d respond with a cease-‘n’-desist letter. But I do appreciate the compliment!


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