Monday, October 4, 2010

Elephants Can't Read

Day 238, now, briefly, of the "What aren't you reading?" project, thanks to Henry Miller and his list of Books You Will Never Read.  Bob has already answered that question, clarifying that a book he will never finish is Elephants Can Remember, by Agatha Christie, because 1) he says, quoting the article, it was "full of errors and poorly plotted" 2) she appears to have been suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's when she wrote it, as is her main character.

Bob also points us to this NPR story about Christie, and the quantitative evidence of more indefinite nouns in this book--words like "thing," "anything," "something"--and fewer precise nouns, and the Nun's Study, which tracks dementia in the writing of a population of nuns.

If you click the link to read the story, you will also see two photographs of origamic brains.  One is labeled a Healthy Brain, the other a Brain with Alzheimer's.  I would just like to point out that an optional caption for the Healthy Brain might be Slightly Scrunched Origami Brain and an optional caption for the other might be Smashed Origami Brain Collapsing Because Somebody Sat On It, just to make clear that a tightly folded brain is actually a good thing.

OK, it's true Alzheimer's does run in my family, but I don't say "thing."  I say "thingey."  I also say "out the wazoo" a lot, to indicate abundance, and this is nowhere mentioned in the article.

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