Reversed "in proportion to"?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Aug 17 23:04:25 UTC 2013

At 8/17/2013 01:12 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>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.

I will ask him.


The American Dialect Society -

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