New York Times Magazine Article (UNCLASSIFIED)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 16 02:27:38 UTC 2010


Well, all the screenplay versions and reference works have it as "hill" and the word "hill" unmistakeably appears a little later in the dialogue.  You're right that it doesn't sound like "hill" from the clip on Youtube.  I would say, though, that it sounds like "hail" rather than "hell."

But clearly the word was intended to be "hill."

Fred Shapiro

> The "On Language" (formerly William Safire's) column in the New York
> Times Magazine on Sunday will be an article by me about movie
> quotations.  It's already online:

You quote Robert Duvall from "Apocalypse Now":  "I love the smell of
napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed for 12
It's been a while since I've seen the film, and I'm sure you double
checked before going to print, but I remember having trouble
understanding that line and finally deciding he was calling the napalm a
"hell bomb".  Can you confirm your version?

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The American Dialect Society -

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