semantic drift: popup; deconstruct

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Feb 23 18:54:20 UTC 2008

In front of me is a special-issue magazine called _100 Greatest War Movies_ (ed. Gene Santoro, Leesburg, Va.: Weider History Group, 2007).  It seems to target a middlebrow readership

  The cover blurbs announce, among other things, "191 popups" - meaning brief sidebars - mostly of fewer than thirty or forty words - printed in boxes to resemble computer popups. They're often superimposed over photographs to look even more like annoying online popups. Wow. I've never been so excited.

  Of far greater interest is the main blurb promising "The best films ranked, reviewed, deconstructed."

  To "deconstruct" here means "to critique or analyze in any way at all."  In fact, the critiquing and analyzing are basically indistinguishable from "reviewing," with phrases like "stark images," "acerbic wit," and "in suite with an exquisite score."


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