Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pixies and Cake

Holy Crap! Only one post all month? I knew I was lagging, but come on.

And all I've got for you today is --oh, there's that dreaded word again!-- just some Pop Culture commentary. I'm start to think I'm obsessed it. Sad. My life is squandered so fully in intellectual whipped cream that there is not even such substance as would constitute intellectual dessert at the bottom of the dish --nothing else for me to write about. Not even dessert!

Right. I was astonished to hear, in the film for which Frank Capra was crowned best director of 1936 by The Academy, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, two old biddies from the Heartland repeatedly use a word which one associates today with things not particularly common in 1936, especially out in the fly-over states: pixilated.

It must have been viewed at the time as an archaism and a gem of local color, because the judge in the scene (Mr. Deeds is on trial for being crazy) explains "Pixilated is an early American expression formed from pixies, for elves; they use it where we would use 'barmy.'" I quote from memory, so don't forget your grain of salt.

I'm ever so fond of this word, all the more so because it's now ambiguous (in speech) with the altogether different word, which I presume would be spelled pixelated, in order to distinguish its separate origin, though the 'L' could be geminated to indicate that the 'e' is not to be pronounced 'ee,' though that is actually --if you can believe such things are possible in the word of orthography--a matter of choice; see 'canceled' and 'cancelled' both of which it is possible to see in correspondence from Amazon about a single cancellation.

No comments: