watch = "(of a motion picture) to seem through viewing"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 24 17:40:00 UTC 2009

At 1:15 PM -0400 8/24/09, Bill Palmer wrote:
>Would it not be analogous to "read",  e.g. "this reads like something Joel
>Berson would have written"?
>Bill Palmer

To add to my earlier remarks, the middle for "read" is indeed listed,
but you have to go down to sense 22:

OED, s.v. read (v.)

22. intr.

     a. To be readable; to be pleasing to read; to make clear sense
when read. Now rare.

1668 T. SHADWELL Sullen Lovers III. 34 'Tis a Play that shall Read
and Act with any Play that ever was born. 1727 D. DEFOE Hist.
Apparitions (1840) 340 The book will read without it. 1887 A. BIRRELL
Obiter Dicta 2nd Ser. viii. 260 When the dish is served, we only ask,
Is it good?..when the book comes out, Does it read? 1931 N. & Q. 17
Oct. 287/2 The translation is oddly unequal. It is often
conspicuously clear and vigorous; sometimes it is halting and dull;
occasionally, it does not 'read'.

     b. To have a specified character or quality when read; to produce
a certain impression on readers; to give rise to a particular

1731 Gentleman's Mag. 1 21 Thy comedies excell..And read politely
well. 1789 T. TWINING tr. Aristotle Treat. Poetry (1812) I. 254 Whose better than they act. 1805 W. TAYLOR in Ann. Rev. 3
231 This pamphlet is so pious as to read more like a sermon than a
political address. 1828 Examiner 84/2 Nothing can read more free and
easy than his present translation. 1863 J. KAVANAGH Eng. Women of
Lett. I. 187 There are lives that read like one long sorrow. 1928 P.
MONROE China v. 123 The story of the East India Company in India does
not read very differently from the account of the conquest of the
American 'savages'. 1956 H. L. MENCKEN Minority Rep. 18 All fiction
save the occasional work of genius reads much alike, and is couched
in the same time-worn phrases. 1996 W. A. COHEN Sex Scandal ii. 69
The novel reads as conventional romance. 2006 Time Out N.Y. 7 Sept.
159/1 Danielewski's newest offering reads like a love story that
slipped into a particle accelerator.

[and related subsenses c. and d.]

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 11:22 AM
>Subject: Re: watch = "(of a motion picture) to seem through viewing"
>>---------------------- Information from the mail
>>header -----------------------
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>>Subject:      Re: watch = "(of a motion picture) to seem through viewing"
>>At 8/24/2009 11:13 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>>Cf. "read." Not in OED, but it must have been around for a while:
>>>2008 (Apr. 19) IMDb _Redacted_ [
>>>This is "The Blair Witch Project" meets "Full Metal Jacket" meets "Loose
>>>Change". It really watches like some teenager decided to make a war movie
>>>after spending a weekend watching Vietnam flicks.
>>The inverse of TV newscasters (and probably others I haven't heard)
>>saying "take a listen"?
>>Read : watch :: look : listen.
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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