Everyday Semiotics

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Inherent Vice

Just finished the new Thomas Pynchon joint, "Inherent Vice."

Fascinated as always by Pynchon's ear for dialogue. In this book most of the characters have fallen into the habit of redundantly using the word "is," as in "The thing about that is, is you're wrong." (Not "It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is.)

Also prevalent is the use of a question mark at the end of a statement -- connoting either the speaker's hesitance to commit to that statement or the speaker's request for acknowledgment from the listener.

These two verbal phenomena collide on page 339, when Sauncho Smilax opines, "See, my theory is, is it's like one of those educational channels?"

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