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Capitals in titles
Posted: 15 December 2011 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Faldage - 13 December 2011 11:26 AM

Exactly.  Late Bloomers is a perfectly good USn phrase meaning people who come to their own late in life.

It means that in British English too but Lumley’s point is that the French director didn’t realise Bloomers had unfortunate extra semantic baggage in the UK where it was also to be released.

It’s like if you called an American movie G.I. Spunk in the UK.

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Posted: 15 December 2011 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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It means that in British English too but Lumley’s point is that the French director didn’t realise Bloomers had unfortunate extra semantic baggage in the UK where it was also to be released.

What I’m curious about is whether it is automatic extra semantic baggage.  In other words, will any Brit seeing the phrase/title “late bloomers” laugh because of the extra meaning, or will it pass unnoticed (because it’s such a familiar phrase) unless someone says “Bloomers, haw haw!” in which case it will come into view?

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Posted: 15 December 2011 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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languagehat - 15 December 2011 08:45 AM

What I’m curious about is whether it is automatic extra semantic baggage.  In other words, will any Brit seeing the phrase/title “late bloomers” laugh because of the extra meaning, or will it pass unnoticed (because it’s such a familiar phrase) unless someone says “Bloomers, haw haw!” in which case it will come into view?

IMO it would be a good title if the protagonists of the film were not only late starters of some kind but also had problems with their underpants that were somehow related to their autumnal blossoming…

But at a pinch (ooh er) you could make a case for it being passable as a title in GB I guess.

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Posted: 17 December 2011 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I’d find Late Bloomers a much less snicker-worthy film title than, eg Free Willy, which apparently genuinely did cause laughter in cinemas when it was released in the UK. Calling someone a “late bloomer” is a well-enough known expression in Rightpondia for it to not automatically summon up images of big knickers or errors, I think.

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Posted: 17 December 2011 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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It’s a fair point. Maybe no one saw the big knickers connotation and I think the film bombed anyway. If it hadn’t tabloids would have picked up on late bloomers also being old ladies’ knickers for cheap column inches. So, no, I would say not automatic. Bloomers as errors is fairly obscure I would say - is US bloopers better known even in the UK? It is to me.

But to return to my original point, the Spanish and French ‘rules’ for capitals at least judging from the names of the Late Bloomers film there seem to be very straightforward - start the title with a capital letter alone.

I just looked up The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at IMDB and the French and Spanish titles conform:

Also Known As (AKA)
Las aventuras de Priscilla, reina del desierto Argentina / Spain
Priscilla - öknens drottning Finland (Swedish title) / Sweden (imdb display title)
Приключения Присциллы, королевы пустыни Russia
Ørkendroningen Priscilla Denmark
Harpatkaoteha Shel Priscilla Malkat Ha-Midbar Israel (Hebrew title)
Les aventures de Priscilla folle du désert Canada (French title)
Oi peripeteies tis Priscilla, tis vasillisas tis erimou Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
Priscilla Japan
Priscilla - Königin der Wüste Germany
Priscilla, Rainha do Deserto Portugal
Priscilla, a Rainha do Deserto Brazil
Priscilla, a sivatag királynőjének kalandjai Hungary
Priscilla, aavikon kuningatar Finland
Priscilla, folle du désert France
Priscilla, królowa pustyni Poland
Priscilla, kraljica puscave Slovenia
Priscilla, kraljica pustinje Croatia (imdb display title)
Priscilla, la regina del deserto Italy

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Posted: 17 December 2011 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Bloomers, meaning comical underwear, is the sort of word one associates with double-entendre postcards from the seaside* (a peculiarly UK phenomenon, probably in decline today). Late Bloomers would probably have made my mother (a very proper lady) smile. But the word’s not heard so often these days, when a lady’s undergarment may be little more than a piece of string. Nevertheless, there are those among us who (from lifelong habit, usually inculcated at an English school) instinctively, subconsciously, look for possible risqué or scatological associations everywhere, at all times, and in all places. We’re not hard to find, either in the UK or the USA (or wherever I am ;-). And many of us would laugh, or at least smile, at Late Bloomers.

* Two cleaning ladies at work in the aquarium are contemplating an octopus.

Cleaning lady: “Look, Gladys! He has eight tentacles!”

(reported seen on sale in Llandudno, some 60 years ago)

[ Edited: 17 December 2011 11:54 AM by lionello ]
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Posted: 17 December 2011 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Harpatkaoteha Shel Priscilla Malkat Ha-Midbar Israel (Hebrew title)

The distinction between lower-case and capital letters does not exist in Hebrew writing or printing.

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Posted: 17 December 2011 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Capitalization of French Titles and Names: “The rules are more complicated in French - so complicated, in fact, that I have been unable to find a definitive system. I have found various levels of support for the following three schools of thought.” Like the author of that page, I learned the “Standard capitalization” system, and that is what I default to.  Wikipedia apparently uses the “Sentence capitalization” system ("A number of websites use this system, crediting it either to the MLA Handbook or to « normes ISO ». I was unable to find any official online documentation for either of these sources.").

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