Monday, November 07, 2011

word of the day: jocose

The word of the day is jocose:

Etymology:  < Latin jocōs-us full of jesting or joking, < jocus : see joco n. and -ose suffix1.
1. Of persons, or their dispositions, etc.: Full of jokes: given to joking; playful, sportive, waggish.
2. Of speech, writing, or action: Of the nature of a joke, or characterized by jokes; spoken, written, or done in joke; playful in style or character.  (OED)

"George Roy Hill is a “sincere” director, but [William] Goldman’s script is jocose; though it reads as if it might play, it doesn’t, and probably this isn’t just Hill’s fault. What can one do with dialogue like Paul Newman’s Butch saying, “Boy, I got vision. The rest of the world wears bifocals”? It must be meant to be sportive, because it isn’t witty and it isn’t dramatic. The dialogue is all banter, all throwaways, and that’s how it’s delivered; each line comes out of nowhere, coyly, in a murmur, in the dead sound of the studio."

 - Pauline Kael, "The Bottom of the Pit", 27 September 1969 The New Yorker, as quoted by Nathan Heller, "What she said: the doings and undoings of Pauline Kael", 24 October 2011 The New Yorker

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