A title by any other name…

We don’t do well with titles in my family. It’s some kind of naming dyslexia, probably not identified yet in the DSM-IV. So the other day when my daughter told me she was going to the movies to see “The Children Are Doing Just Fine,” I knew right away she was going to see the Julianne Moore/Annette Bening movie, “The Kids Are All Right.”

It still made me laugh. I tried to picture how that line would have worked with the Who song of the same name. Even hummed a few bars just to see if it would work. Not so much.

And then another family member said he’s been watching the show, “Who Told You That You Could Dance?” and still somebody else asked me to go along to see the movie, “I’m So Detestable.”It’s got me wondering if there isn’t some kind of self-help book for this disorder.

Still, I’m glad to see we’re not the only ones. In the New York Times’s Metropolitan Diary column a few months ago, there was the story of a woman who was walking down the street with her daughter, when they spotted Larry David, the creator and star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” coming the other way. The daughter said, “Oh! Wow! There’s that guy from the show ‘Lower Your Expectations.'”

I think this could be a fun game, actually: coming up with paraphrased titles. The singing group “They Might Be Giants” could be called “They Are Certainly Not Tiny” and the movie “500 Days of Summer” might be renamed “A Whole Lot of Hot Weather.”

I suppose my new book, “The Stuff That Never Happened” is fair game for some mangling, too. Although it occurs to me that the real meaning of “the stuff that never happened”  is–well, “a novel.”

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29 Responses to A title by any other name…

  1. Lily July 17, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    “A novel I am looking forward to reading,” actually. Thanks for this very funny entry. xoxoxo

    • Meryl Jaffe July 23, 2010 at 2:57 am #

      Maddie, I love what you wrote and can commiserate. I always get names (and dates) mixed up, and while I can be funny, I can’t really tell jokes – I always seem to mess up the punchline and timing. I think I have issues remembering sequences.

      Anyway, I loved it and look forward to more. Also you visited me at my blog and loved what you wrote. Thank you for visiting, I hope you come back. I know I will be looking not only at your blog, but for your book as well.

      GOOD LUCK!

      • Maddie July 23, 2010 at 4:04 am #

        Meryl, Thank you!! I can’t tell jokes either. You’re right…it must be a timing issue.
        I’ll be back to your blog for sure!

      • Millicent July 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

        Great intsghi! That’s the answer we’ve been looking for.

  2. clare August 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    My favorite title – There will be old men”

    get it – No country for old men, there will be blood –

  3. Maddie Dawson August 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    That’s brilliant! I think I actually did go for a while thinking there WAS a movie called “There Will Be Old Men.” That’s because those two movies came out around the same time, right? So they’re inextricably linked in my head.

    Also, while we’re on the subject, what’s with all the movies…A Single Man, A Solitary Man, A Serious Man…and isn’t there one other? A Suicidal Man, perhaps? A Sexy Man?

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    I wanted to make an impression at a household reunion and bear in mind the names of all of the new husband’s household members. There was 1 gent whom I’d asked his name and tried extremely to remember but failed repeatedly. Finally he bailed me out and said his name was Dick. With out a thought I swiftly mentioned, “Gosh, how could I forget? You *look* like a ‘Dick’!!!”

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