or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, August 10, 2007

Old and Bitter

Salon's movie reviewer, Stephanie Zacharek, has written a very nice review of "Stardust" which has convinced me to see the movie (next weekend, when I'm not working). But in the last paragraph are these two sentences:

There are some wonderful, fanciful effects here, including a dirigible pirate ship that drifts through the air, and Pfeiffer's zillion-year-old witch, who ages and youthens before our eyes. (I know "youthen" isn't a word, but in the age of Botox, it ought to be.)

God. Why do writers do this? Can they not be bothered to take fifteen seconds to do a bit of research? Why do they put it all on my shoulders (broad and manly though they be)?

"Youthen" most assuredly is a word. It's at least a hundred and twenty-five years old (the OED lists its first appearance in print as 1882), and if that isn't enough to cement its pedigree, then I don't know what is. (It's even in the Scrabble dictionary. It's a word.) It means exactly what it appears to mean, and it was coined for exactly the reason that Zacharek coins it: because someone thought they needed a verb that meant the opposite of "age".


Blogger Frank said...

I'm rather leery of the "Stardust" movie, not only because it features Claire Danes doing a British accent, but also because I know they changed the ending of the book, an ending that I think is the most beautifully haunting, bittersweet ending I've ever read. But it sure looks pretty!

Friday, August 10, 2007 9:58:00 PM  

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