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In a Lemony Snicket's series of unfortunate events movie, Count Olaf tells the Baudelaire orphans: And welcome to my loverly home. May you find solace within the womblike warmth of its... downy plume. Or as the Greeks in the ancient times would say: Ophanis... encribo... something, something, something. Music builds to a crescendo. Ending on the right foot. And strike a Fosse.

1. I don't understand what exactly downy plume means here and what relation it has to a home. Could you explain it to me, please?

2. Ending on the right foot - is it a stress on the last syllable? Carey pronounces it the way as if he meant a linguistic stress.

3. Strike a Fosse = strike a Fosse pose, right? What does it mean when a man/woman strikes this pose? What do they what to say with that?

Thanks in advance! Emotion: smile
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Comments  

Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

From a movie based on a children's book, these are actually very adult and academic references.

1. I don't understand what exactly downy plume means here and what relation it has to a home. Could you explain it to me, please? It refers to the soft feathers of a bird, a nice place to rest. It's actually a poetic, literary reference. The Elizabethan dramatist, Michael Drayton, wrote Ile lay thee on the Swans soft downy plume.

2. Ending on the right foot - is it a stress on the last syllable? Carey pronounces it the way as if he meant a linguistic stress. It is a technical term for poetry, referring to a group of syllables of which one is stressed. From Wikipedia:"In verse , a foot is the basic unit of meter used to describe rhythm. A foot consists of a certain number of syllables forming part of a line of verse".

3. Strike a Fosse = strike a Fosse pose, right? What does it mean when a man/woman strikes this pose? What do they what to say with that? Bob Fosse was a famous dancer/choreographer with a very distinctive and unique style. A Fosse pose is unmistakably dramatic and stylish.

Best wishes, Clive

Clive

Hi, Welcome to the Forum.



Thanks, Clive.



From a movie based on a children's book, these are actually very adult and academic references.

2. Ending on the right foot - is it a stress on the last syllable? Carey pronounces it the way as if he meant a linguistic stress. It is a technical term for poetry, referring to a group of syllables of which one is stressed. From Wikipedia:"In verse, a foot is the basic unit of meter used to describe rhythm. A foot consists of a certain number of syllables forming part of a line of verse".

Then what exactly does "ending on the right foot" mean? Or maybe he meant a physical action like standing on the right foot at the end of smth? Is it really about poetry?



3. Strike a Fosse = strike a Fosse pose, right? What does it mean when a man/woman strikes this pose? What do they what to say with that? Bob Fosse was a famous dancer/choreographer with a very distinctive and unique style. A Fosse pose is unmistakably dramatic and stylish.

Is there any synonyms for this phrase? Descriptive...whatever? As a native speaker you might have some ideas. Emotion: smile

Warmest regards.


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Hi,


Then what exactly does "ending on the right foot" mean? Or maybe he meant a physical action like standing on the right foot at the end of smth? Is it really about poetry? >>

I believe the context is:

Music builds to a crescendo
Ending on the right foot
And strike a Fosse.

Based on this, I get the image that the person is just dancing, ends the dance on the correct foot and is thus able to freeze in a dramatic pose. It doesn't seem to be about poetry at all.

(Fosse pose) Is there any synonyms for this phrase? Descriptive...whatever? As a native speaker (and a dancer, I might add!)you might have some ideas. It's not a standard, common phrase. Perhaps you could just say 'a dramatic and creative pose'.

I wonder if a lot of dancers doing a Fosse dance routine could be called a 'Fosse posse'? (Ha-ha)

Best wishes again, Clive

Thanks, Clive. Emotion: smile

I have more questions. May I make them in this thread?
Hi,

Questions are always welcome. If they are on another topic, it's better if you just start another thread. Threads are free here on the Forum! Ha-ha!

Clive
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Emotion: smile
Well, as all my questions belong to this "loverly" movie, I suppose it's appropriate to remain in this thread Emotion: smile

1. Doctor Steffano (Count Olaf) talks with Doctor Montgomery about his experience as a (fictitious) scientist:

Well, I am a fan, if I may gush. Your work has profoundly influenced my research up at the Monterey Bay Aquarium... on the sea snake. It's a very volatile animal. I've been bitten 43... 700 times. Mostly on the face.

What does volatile mean here? I've translated it as "unpredictable". Am I right?

2. When running into one of the orphans in the market Count Olaf blurts out "Lord thundering jumped-up Jehovah". The orphans' guardian (their aunt) screams
"The black plague! Is it the black plague?"
a). I understand that this is some sort of Eastern Canadian talk... but as I have to translate it into my native language, I should have some idea... What does "thundering" and "jumped-up" mean here? Is there any similar synonyms?
b). Why the black plague? What is so funny about it? And what does it have in common with Lord Jehovah? Emotion: smile

3. Trying to warm his way into the confidence of the orphans' new guardian (their aunt that is a grammar freak), Count Olaf says:

Count Olaf: Why, perhaps it's just the ramblings of an expert fisherman, but grammar is the number-one most important thing in this here world to me.

Aunt: It is?

Count Olaf: It's the whole ball of wax. The entire kit and caboodle. Why, without your good grammar, the whole darn shooting match could go a.r.s.e. over tea kettle.

Aunt: Well, you can certainly turn a phrase.

Count Olaf: I can flip it up and rub it down too. Of course, that would be entirely up to you, mum.

a) Well, what is he referring to with the whole darn shooting match? Go arse over tea kettle is to collapse?

b) turn a phrase is say smth in a clever, etc. way. But flip it up and rub it down? What does he mean?

4. Horrid Harbor. Horrid means here horrible, terrible, etc ,right?

Curdled Cave. What exactly does curdled means here? Some synonym?

Well, I hope I haven't burdened you with my questions Emotion: smile

Hi,

Don't worry, it's no trouble for me.

1. Doctor Steffano (Count Olaf) talks with Doctor Montgomery about his experience as a (fictitious) scientist:

Well, I am a fan, if I may gush. Your work has profoundly influenced my research up at the Monterey Bay Aquarium... on the sea snake. It's a very volatile animal. I've been bitten 43... 700 times. Mostly on the face.



What does volatile mean here? I've translated it as "unpredictable". Am I right? Yes. Unstable, lively.

2. When running into one of the orphans in the market Count Olaf blurts out "Lord thundering jumped-up Jehovah". The orphans' guardian (their aunt) screams
"The black plague! Is it the black plague?"
a). I understand that this is some sort of Eastern Canadian talk... Really? I didn't know there was an Eastern canadian aspect to this movie, I assumed it was standard USA fare. Good. but as I have to translate it into my native language, I should have some idea... What does "thundering" and "jumped-up" mean here? Is there any similar synonyms? 'Thundering' is perhaps a unique intensifier. I associate it with Newfoundlanders. A well-known Newfoundland expresssion, instead of 'Jesus!' is 'Lord thundering (t'underin') Jesus ('Jeezus'). 'Thundering' can mean not only 'loud' but 'excessive or huge', as in 'a thundering error'. 'Jumped-up' refers to someone who is newly in a position of importance/authority, and believes themselves to be important. There's a certain amusing irony in using these adjectives for Jehovah.



b). Why the black plague? What is so funny about it? And what does it have in common with Lord Jehovah? I don't think the Black Plague has anything to do with Jehovah. Jehovah's name is just invoked to show surprise at meeting the orphans. It's like exclaiming 'MyGod' in surprise.


I don't have enough context to understand why the Black Plague is mentioned here. Perhaps Olaf shows so much surprise that the guardian thinks something improtant, like the Plague, is happening?

3. Trying to warm his way into the confidence of the orphans' new guardian (their aunt that is a grammar freak), Count Olaf says:

Count Olaf: Why, perhaps it's just the ramblings of an expert fisherman, but grammar is the number-one most important thing in this here world to me. (A man after my own heart!)

Aunt: It is?

Count Olaf: It's the whole ball of wax. The entire kit and caboodle. Why, without your good grammar, the whole darn shooting match could go a.r.s.e. over tea kettle.

Olaf is ironically using bad grammar and unspohisticated vocabulary here. 'Darn' means 'damned'. 'The whole shootingmatch' means 'everything'. 'arse' means 'ass'. To go 'Ass over tea kettle' means 'to fall badly, completely', 'to collapse', as you say.

Aunt: Well, you can certainly turn a phrase.

Count Olaf: I can flip it up and rub it down too. Of course, that would be entirely up to you, mum. These phrases are exaggerated synonyms for 'turn', which was used in 'turn a phrase'. Olaf is, ironically, turning wild and clever phrases.

a) Well, what is he referring to with the whole darn shooting match? Go *** over tea kettle is to collapse?

b) turn a phrase is say smth in a clever, etc. way. But flip it up and rub it down? What does he mean?



4. Horrid Harbor. Horrid means here horrible, terrible, etc ,right? Yes

Curdled Cave. What exactly does curdled means here? Some synonym? 'Curdle' means as in your dictionary. I think the word is used here only because of the alliteration with 'cave'. There is also humour in that it is a strange word to juxtapose with 'cave', it's unexpected.

I have two thoughts. One is that you have listened to the dialogue in this move with a very good and accurate ear. The other is that it sounds like a great movie, with a lot of very clever verbal play. I want to see it!

Write again if you have any more queries, OK?

Clive



Hi! Emotion: smile

3. Trying to warm his way into the confidence of the orphans' new guardian (their aunt that is a grammar freak), Count Olaf says:

Count Olaf: Why, perhaps it's just the ramblings of an expert fisherman, but grammar is the number-one most important thing in this here world to me. (A man after my own heart!)

Aunt: It is?

Count Olaf: It's the whole ball of wax. The entire kit and caboodle. Why, without your good grammar, the whole darn shooting match could go a.r.s.e. over tea kettle.

Olaf is ironically using bad grammar and unspohisticated vocabulary here. 'Darn' means 'damned'. 'The whole shootingmatch' means 'everything'. 'arse' means 'ass'. To go 'Ass over tea kettle' means 'to fall badly, completely', 'to collapse', as you say.

Everything like what? That is, without yourgood grammar, everything (like... in your life) would collapse? What precisely he is referring to with the "whole"? Or maybe the whole world would collapse? Like a metaphor Emotion: smile

Aunt: Well, you can certainly turn a phrase.

Count Olaf: I can flip it up and rub it down too. Of course, that would be entirely up to you, mum. These phrases are exaggerated synonyms for 'turn', which was used in 'turn a phrase'. Olaf is, ironically, turning wild and clever phrases.

Thanks. Now I know how I can "turn a phrase" in my translation Emotion: smile One moment . I read somewhere that there was some sexual meaning to those "flip it up and rub it down". Is there any? If there is, could you point it out? Emotion: smile

Curdled Cave. What exactly does curdled means here? Some synonym? 'Curdle' means as in your dictionary. I think the word is used here only because of the alliteration with 'cave'. There is also humour in that it is a strange word to juxtapose with 'cave', it's unexpected.


I asked it because it is called "ruinous cave" in the official translation. Maybe because one of the meanings of "curdle" is "to freeze with fear", etc. Anyway, I don't think it is excellent translation. Could it be "sour cave" (like in sour milk)? Curdled and sour is almost the same thing. Emotion: smile



it sounds like a great movie, with a lot of very clever verbal play. I want to see it!

I highly recommend it. Emotion: smile It is a very funny comedy with a lot of black humor. I don't think it is aimed for children ,anyway.



Write again if you have any more queries, OK?

Sure Emotion: smile

Regards





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