January 21, 2009

Getting them in the right order

Linguist Benjamin Zimmer's take on Chief Justice John Roberts's garbled textualism. The bafflingly popular Ann Althouse, meanwhile, can't even get the mistakes right. C.J. Roberts said, "the Office of President to the United States," which was the weirdest flub of all.

I'm reminded of this:
Alan Semen: Sir Edwin, which has been for you the most demanding of the great Shakespearean tragic heroes that you've played?

Sir Edwin: Well, of course this is always a difficult one, but I think the answer must be Hamlet.

AS: Which you played at Stratford in 1963.

SE: That's right, yes, I found the role a very taxing one. I mean, er, Hamlet has eight thousand two hundred and sixty-two words, you see.

AS: Really.

SE: Oh yes. Othello's a bugger too, mind you — especially the cleaning up afterwards, but he has nine hundred and forty-one words less than Hamlet.

AS: How many words did you have to say as King Lear at the Aldwitch in '52?

SE: Ah, well, I don't want you to get the impression it's just a question of the number of words ... um ... I mean, getting them in the right order is just as important. Old Peter Hall used to say to me, "They're all there Eddie, now we've got to get them in the right order."

AS: Sir Edwin, get stuffed.

SE: I've enjoyed it.
Great Actors.

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