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Layers of literalism

Watching Van Helsing reminded me of the pleasant experience I had watching The Mummy the first time. I literally couldn't take my eyes of Rachel Weisz. Well, not quite literally, but almost literally.

When most people use that phrase "I couldn't take my eyes off her" they merely mean they were captivated by her.

If someone literally couldn't take their eyes off a woman then they'd have pretty sore eyeballs, possibly popped out of their sockets, and the woman would be permanently marked with a disgusting stain somewhere.

But when I say I couldn't take my eyes off Rache l Weisz I meant it somewhere between these two meanings: Every time she appeared on the screen I focussed my attention on her, watching the part of frame she occupied, often to the exclusion of paying attention what was happening elsewhere in the shot.

Just an observation on the different levels of meaning a word like "literally" can have.

Oh... and whatever it was she had in The Mummy she'd lost by The Mummy Returns. :(

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 12, 2004 8:57 AM.

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