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Thursday, October 13, 2005

I'm blanking on the line in this week's Grey's Anatomy, but Meredith Grey says something about how she's "fine," and Dr. Bailey explodes about her "fineness," and Bailey's line was in no way correct grammatically, but it felt very real. It was basically a bunch of words around a conceptual core, which was the word "fineness." If I had to rewrite the line it would be something like, "Oh, you've been parading your fineness all over the hospital," but that's too grammatical already.

Dialog sounds written when it's too grammatical. I think when people talk fast, they tend to decide on a word they want to get to, a word that sums up their point, and then they fill in the path to that word with whatever words come in handy. They make nouns out of verbs and verbs out of nouns because they're not about to take the time to reformulate the sentence in their head so that the word they want to use is in the right place. I think we have an idea what word we want to stress, and we build up words around it so that the stressed word is the core of the phrases we're going to use. But really we're just after the stressed word.

I'm gonna have to dig up that Dr. Bailey quote, or at least get me some coffee...


Reminds me a little of the way everyone spoke on Buffy and Angel. Spouting invented words that seemed to have just popped into their heads to explain what they're thinking, feeling or doing. I thought it was a bit juvenile and immature -- but, then again, they were playing young'uns.

By Blogger Kelly J. Compeau, at 12:30 PM  

I also think writing sounds written if it's too slick and stylized.

Watched an episode of THRESHOLD, and the writers are really going for a slick crispness in the dialog.

Doesn't work.

You can almost hear the click of the keyboard with each line.

By Blogger Robot Porter, at 8:06 AM  

Yeah, could you dig it up? Because without having seen the show, I have NO idea what you're talking about here! ;-)

By Blogger Fun Joel, at 11:55 PM  

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