Friday, October 24, 2014

What? C'mon, guys

Okay, I'm going to object. "Chaplinesque" doesn't really apply to the comedy of the actual Charlie Chaplin.

Merriam Webster defines it as:
resembling or suggesting the largely pantomime comedy of the motion-picture comedian Charles Chaplin, especially its central comedy figure, a pathetic ineffectual good-hearted tramp with torn baggy pants, long-worn shoes, cane and bowler hat, an odd jerky walk, and pretensions to gentility 
"Resembling or suggesting". Not, you know, being.

Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, s.v. “Chaplinesque,” accessed October 24, 2014,

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At 8:07 PM, October 24, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

We both found the clue confusing.

At 8:18 PM, October 24, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

That's because the answer was wrong.

-esque means "in the manner or style of; like". Chaplin's comedy isn't "in the manner of Chaplin" or "Chaplin-like".

You don't say the Gettysburg address was Lincolnesque. Or Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a very Kiplingesque story.

The contestants' answers were better, and one even had the right number of letters.

At 12:56 PM, October 27, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Someone at work suggested that they were going for "What's the adjective that uses this man's name when referring to comedy?" or something like that.

At 7:16 AM, November 04, 2014 Anonymous Adrian Morgan had this to say...

Oh, I dunno ... I think the principle that X is not X-esque might owe more to pragmatics than semantics, so you might be able to override it in the right context.


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