to "reference": Kafkaesque

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 8 23:18:40 UTC 2010

NPR this evening read a letter from a seemingly educated devotee pointing
out an inaccurate cultural reference:

"[So and so] referenced that Congress is becoming 'like the Hotel Baltimore:
"You can check in but you can't check out."'"

Right, Roach Motels. (Hmmm. The allusion becomes ever more appropriate....)

But the point is that to "reference (that)" means to "say while making a
reference."  I don't doubt that one can also "allude (that)," but I'll leave
that quest to others.

In a seemingly unrelated development, CNN's Rick Sanchez alluded whether
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's alleged habit of harassing local critics of his
brand of lawnorder is "possibly Kafkaesque."

Yeah, possibly, but my understanding of "Kafkaesque" doesn't to apply to
anything Joe is likely to have done unless he's a master of the sinister,
the futile, and the weird all three.

Cf. Pam to Alvy in _Annie Hall_ (1977): "Sex with you is a Kafkaesque
experience. I mean that as a compliment."


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

The American Dialect Society -

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