This has been driving me crazy. I will state right now that I haven’t researched this… I suppose the trick would be to find a book cover from 1960 of Exodus, or even some other best seller from the period that was re-issued while the movie based on it was in production. For my purposes, to find several books. Or print ads for those books.Because in Babylon, when Lily Meyer slides Exodus across the conference room table and over to Don, she tells him that it is “soon to be a major motion picture”. And she says it with the quotation marks as part of her inflection; she is lifting a popular phrase.

My gut, and my gut alone, tells me that turning this kind of phrase was not commonplace. That even if the industry was using it, people were not. People just didn’t lift catch-phrases the way they do today. Especially people to whom English is a second language. I really don’t think that started until the 70’s; I believe it to be a post-modern phenomenon, and in 1960 we were just broaching modern.

Now, Deborah suggests that perhaps she was directly quoting, and not being ironic. Maybe that’s it. But I don’t see why she would be inclined to directly quote rather than rephrase.  (more…)

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