Having watched the blockbuster movie The Da Vinci Code and indeed liked it for a delicate ensemble of reasons not easily explained, it wet my appetite for the book. And that became a terrible, teeth-grinding experience.
To begin with, what was different in the movie vastly improved on what you’ll find in the novel written by Dan Brown. And while the movie ends on a clever combination of a light-hearted outlook on the one hand, and a powerful emotion on the other, the book’s ending manages to be preposterously trivial and cringingly embarrassing at the same time, and it is so obvious that Brown didn’t want to give offense to anyone.
Which the movie dared to do: thank goodness, I might say. And, courtesy Mad Bill from the Catholic League, we also have a working Offendometer to go by: the higher its amplitude, the better the chance that the book or movie that causes it is really good.
Anyways. The renowned ;-) (you’ll see) linguist Geoff Pullum was even more enraged than I was, and a sharp tongue is one of the things he is, indeed, renowned for. Here’s his first dissection. But don’t gobble up all his articles on this subject at once: some of his observations I will comment on in later entries. In the meantime: Enjoy!