Reversed "in proportion to"?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Aug 17 17:12:09 UTC 2013

On Aug 17, 2013, at 1:05 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> In a review of the movie "The Spectacular Now" by Ty Barr in the
> Boston Globe Aug. 16:
> "He's the [high sechool] kid everyone loves and nobody can rely on,
> the larger-than-life goofball whose legendary status on campus is in
> indirect proportion to the mess he'll make of his life."  [The review
> indicates he makes a mess of his life up to the end of the movie, but
> it is vague about whether he recovers or simply becomes aware of his mess-ups.]
> To me, this "in indirect proportion" is reversed.  "Legendary" status
> in "indirect proportion" to "mess" tells me he will make only a
> *small* mess of his life.  Am I wrong?
> Joel
I would suspect "in direct proportion" > "in indirect proportion" somewhere in the copy process, either between submission and publication or between Barr's brain and his fingers.


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