Monday, July 20, 2009

Double entendre


Paul remarks on a stairway detail in a new Chinese Museum.

wh5: Striking piece of architectural detail, the way the stairs project unevenly.

Paul: What’s striking about it is that this one's likely to hit you on the head as you exit the restroom. Sticks out fair and square into the passageway.

wh5: Hmm. Not so clever.

Paul: I mean, these modern architects, they have often have a great artistic sense but they sometimes don’t think about how people’s behavior will impact on their design.

wh5: Come back in a year’s time, you’ll probably find the stairs are sawn off to a uniform length.

Paul: Only after someone lays themselves out.


Consciously or unconsciously, we sometimes use words which emphasize our message. In talking about a hazardous protrusion which passersby could collide with, Paul turns “striking” into a double entendre and follows up with another, possibly subconsciously generated, in “impact.”


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