Boxcutters Episode 74

Here it finally is. We are back in our usual form.

James Talia joins us on the phone from London to talk about the world of a European Correspondent and how Nine have managed to maintain their international edge. There’s some talk of ratings and a review of the Sunday night shows as well as a discussion of ACA vs TT and the Schappelle/Jody/Mercedes shenanigans.

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  1. catbrain says:

    Where’s the dedication, eh? If you were really serious you’d be posting to the blog live while you were watching the Academy Awards.


  2. catbrain says:

    I just noticed on yourtv that there’s an encore screening of What About Brian* at 3.30pm Sunday on Seven.

    (* Can I just have a little rant about the “trend” of no punctuation in tv titles, such as What About Brian and Where Are They Now? Perhaps question marks, in particular, are left out because people are naturally raising the inflection at the end of the sentence anyway, whether it’s a question or not? They need to listen to theme song and take notes. [/2cents])

  3. Who wants to be a millionaire!

    That’s Who from the Chinese baseball team – Who’s on first…

  4. catbrain says:

    Please excuse my terrible html today… silly me using single quotes: that should read “They need to listen to The Curiosity Show theme song and take notes.”

    And a very good point about Millionaire (as she starts her sentence with a preposition)…

    The late Ross Warneke had something to say about it:

    THE best question that has never been asked on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire is why the show does not have a question mark at the end of its title.

    It does on the website of Celador Productions, the British production company that created and owns the format and has licensed the show to more than 100 countries. And if you look at the show’s official site at Britain’s ITV Network, where Millionaire began, the title always ends with a question mark. But not in Australia.

    The title, clearly, is a question, apparently based on the 1956 Cole Porter song of the same name. At Channel Nine, however, no one seems to know why there is no question mark.

    The Age, April 6 2006

  5. OK. Far be it for me to stay out of a conversation about language pedantry.

    Firstly, catbrain, there is nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a preposition (eg: “There is a giant oak tree in my garden.”). You, however, began your sentence with a conjunction.

    Now, I’ve been thinking about this question mark thing quite a bit. As far as Millionaire is concerned, the title could be just a fragment rather than a whole question, as in: “Let’s determine who wants to be a millionaire”. It’s a long bow to draw and one I doubt Nine ever thought of but still, it’s a possibility.

    As far as What About Brian goes, well, I had this whole explanation about the abstract concept of “What” being generally the unknown and it being all around Brian (hence about him). However it is obvious to me that this is actually more the sort of oversight that decries the downfall of our language and subsequently our civilisation.

    Brett, you need to get your Abbot & Costello facts straight. It was not a Chinese baseball team but just a regular baseball team.

    Also, catbrain, perhaps we will post on the blog during the awards. Perhaps not. Don’t you just love the suspense?

  6. Rob Boxcutter says:

    Josh, language pedantry knows no bounds. To wit:

    The word “there” in “There is a giant oak tree in my garden” is not a preposition. It’s not even really behaving as an adverb of place (which is its usual part of speech). Rather, it is the dummy subject required grammatically in these sorts of existential clauses. If “there” was functioning as a preposition in that sentence it should be able to be replaced with just about any other preposition and still be grammatical, but this isn’t the case:

    There is a giant oak tree in my garden. (Movie Yes)

    * Over is a giant oak tree in my garden. (Movie No)

    * Before is a giant oak tree in my garden. (Movie No)

    It can, however, be replaced with another adverb of place (and be grammatical), but the meaning changes fundamentally (it’s no longer simply an existential clause): Here is a giant oak tree in my garden.

    It’s subtle, as is the difference between:

    There is an oak tree in my garden. (existential)


    THERE is an oak tree, in my garden.

    Wasn’t that fun?!

  7. I’m sure an old recording of it had the announcer mentioning it as the Chinese baseball team before crossing to A&C.

    Ah well… it seems the original didn’t have that exposition.


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