odd usages in _Mister Roberts_

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 1 13:53:13 UTC 2010

I noticed two very odd usages in the 1955 film _Mister Roberts_, screenplay
by Frank S. Nugent and Joshua Logan.

The writers have a Navy officer in 1945 casually referring to 5:50 p.m. as
"eighteen hundred minus ten" instead of "seventeen fifty."

And head nurse Lieut. Girard addresses her female staff as "Men!" Of course,
this may just be a joke.

Both the movie and the play which preceded it are based on the novel by
Thomas Heggen (1918-1949).  Unlike Nugent and Logan, Heggen was a navy
veteran of WWII.

When the film came out, the NYT described the play as a "cherished work."


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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