BBC Sherlock Fan Forum - Serving Sherlockians since February 2012.


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



July 8, 2015 8:10 pm  #1


meretriciouse

Last year,

SusiGo wrote:

Just discovered something nice on tumblr. You all know the "meretricious" and "a happy new year" joke from TGG. But did you know the source? The gay writer and critic Gore Vidal (last paragraph).

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/22/how_one_sexy_gay_novel_derailed_gore_vidals_literary_career/

It IS fantastic to know, but I still don't get the joke, Vidal or no. I mean, I can see how they go from "meretricious" to "and a happy New Year" and yes, it is funny! Also that someone might think Vidal's work was meretricious. But WHY does Sherlock say it here? What does he mean? It means slutty, whorish; by extension, perhaps venal?

Oh, again, just talking to you people helps me think . Could you please check with me anyway somebody? English is not my first language.

So, it's not

John: Fantastic.
Sherlock: Meretricious,

it's

Sherlock: The picture's a fake ... meretricious.

Meaning, on the literal, pre-allusion level: it was forged for money. And just that? Meretricious is a weird way to say that.

Right, wrong? Help
 

 

July 8, 2015 8:12 pm  #2


Re: meretriciouse

*Volunteers,* I needed also a while to get it:

Meretricous sounds slightly like Merry Christmas 

Last edited by Harriet (July 8, 2015 8:15 pm)


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

July 8, 2015 8:28 pm  #3


Re: meretriciouse

Harriet wrote:

*Volunteers,* I needed also a while to get it:

Meretricous sounds slightly like Merry Christmas

Yep, but that's the easy part :D
 

     Thread Starter
 

July 8, 2015 8:32 pm  #4


Re: meretriciouse

Ok, then the more complicated is also beyond me   


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

July 8, 2015 9:48 pm  #5


Re: meretriciouse

I always thought "meretricious" meant simple, easy etc. . Like 'elementary' does.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.

Independent OSAJ Affiliate

http://9.asset.soup.io/asset/1715/0057_6c7d.gif
 

July 8, 2015 9:50 pm  #6


Re: meretriciouse

This definition:1. superficially or garishly attractive2. insincere: meretricious praise.3. of, like, or relating to a prostitute

I think Sherlock meant it in the context of number 1. Superficial. It seemed interesting on the outside, but was in fact, very simple and obvious once they looked into it deeper.
 


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.

Independent OSAJ Affiliate

http://9.asset.soup.io/asset/1715/0057_6c7d.gif
 

July 9, 2015 1:52 am  #7


Re: meretriciouse

Yes, that's also how I understood it (as simple, easy).
I never heard the similarity to "merry christmas", I simply assumed it must sound similar because of the "happy new year" that came afterwards. I suppose it's a lot easier for native speakers to hear it. or I simply pronounce "meretricious" very wrong. (though I am very sure an -ous ending will never sound like an -as ending, if I ever learned anything in university)
 

Last edited by Whisky (July 9, 2015 1:54 am)


_____________________________________________________________

"It is what it is."

http://i58.tinypic.com/2j432ti.jpg
 

July 9, 2015 2:04 am  #8


Re: meretriciouse

If you pronounce it as "mer-i-trish-uh s" it sounds more or less like Merry Christmas. I found another meaning which is "seeming attractive but really false or of little value", so perhaps Sherlock is saying that his deduction may seem clever to John and Lestrade, but he considers it so elementary that it hardly deserves praise.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://alterna-tickers.com/tickers/generated_tickers/y/ygzdv5n8w.png
http://s6.postimg.org/dh9cqa93l/sherlock_sketch_signature.jpg
 

July 9, 2015 6:25 am  #9


Re: meretriciouse

Thank you all, and especially

Sherlock Holmes wrote:

This definition:1. superficially or garishly attractive2. insincere: meretricious praise.3. of, like, or relating to a prostitute

I think Sherlock meant it in the context of number 1. Superficial. It seemed interesting on the outside, but was in fact, very simple and obvious once they looked into it deeper.
 

See, I only knew the (literal, directly Latin-derived) sense 3. Now that you have quoted the other meanings I looked in the big Oxford, and it said, roughly, "1 of a harlot, 2 superficially or garishly attractive, especially of the style of a writer or painter." So yes, it must be as you say. Although I think it means he just doesn't like the painting! (And, to indulge in some unnecessary over-interpretation which goes well with the dialogue in the Vauxhall arches in the same episode: the painting is "insincere" in that does not do justice: to the actual night sky. )
 

     Thread Starter
 

July 9, 2015 4:34 pm  #10


Re: meretriciouse

ukaunz wrote:

If you pronounce it as "mer-i-trish-uh s" it sounds more or less like Merry Christmas. I found another meaning which is "seeming attractive but really false or of little value", so perhaps Sherlock is saying that his deduction may seem clever to John and Lestrade, but he considers it so elementary that it hardly deserves praise.

This. 

Also, it's a callout to the ACD story "The Norwood Builder": 

“Excellent!” I cried.

“Elementary,” said he. “It is one of those instances where the reasoner can produce an effect which seems remarkable to his neighbour, because the latter has missed the one little point which is the basis of the deduction. The same may be said, my dear fellow, for the effect of some of these little sketches of yours, which is entirely meretricious, depending as it does upon your retaining in your own hands some factors in the problem which are never imparted to the reader.


____________________

"Oh, you meant 'spectacularly ignorant' in a NICE way."
 

July 9, 2015 5:24 pm  #11


Re: meretriciouse

tehanu wrote:

Harriet wrote:

*Volunteers,* I needed also a while to get it:

Meretricous sounds slightly like Merry Christmas

Yep, but that's the easy part :D
 

Isn't it? 
 


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

July 11, 2015 1:17 pm  #12


Re: meretriciouse

REReader wrote:

Also, it's a callout to the ACD story "The Norwood Builder": 

“Excellent!” I cried.

“Elementary,” said he. “It is one of those instances where the reasoner can produce an effect which seems remarkable to his neighbour, because the latter has missed the one little point which is the basis of the deduction. The same may be said, my dear fellow, for the effect of some of these little sketches of yours, which is entirely meretricious, depending as it does upon your retaining in your own hands some factors in the problem which are never imparted to the reader.

Thank you, it's exactly the kind of thing that is helpful to know here.

     Thread Starter
 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum