"As if" in Rushdie's latest
bookrat at BOOKRAT.COM
Mon Aug 16 02:40:03 UTC 1999
When did "as if!" as a sarcastic retort come into general usage?
I tend to associate it (and the related "what*ever*!") with the _Clueless_
generation (the movie title, not a dig at that generation).
So here's a scene from Salman Rushdie's _The Ground Beneath Her Feet_. The
setting is mid-1940s Bombay (relived in a flashback), and the narrator's
mother has just built a soaring sand castle, or sand building:
"'Skyscraper,' she named it. 'How'd you like to own a penthouse at the
top?' Skywhatter? Where was a penthouse pent? These were words I did not
know. I found myself disliking them: the words, and the building to which
they belonged. Besides, I was bored and wanted to swim.
"'Looks like a big matchbox to me.' I shrugged. 'Live in it? As if.'"
Somehow, this sounds a little anachronistic to me. But what do I know?
(This is not a quibble about the book itself, which I am reading with great
Partridge School of Gentle Arts
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