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100

The phrase “the Lord of the Rings” is ambiguous in the same way in English: it might, in theory, refer either to the One Ring, which rules the other rings, or to Sauron, who can use it to rule all the rings. However, the text does not make use of this ambiguity. The phrase “the Lord of the Ring(s)” appears four times in the text, and three times it’s clear ...


84

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is a pretty long mouthful of a name. Imagine having to say all that every time you wanted to talk to fellow fans about the franchise. The most obvious way to shorten it is to use initials (as is done e.g. with LotR for The Lord of the Rings and many other things), but in this case even HHGttG is a bit of a mouthful. ...


38

It was the title given to the "Earth Edition" on the web: H2G2.com This was founded - and named - in 1999 by Douglas Adams himself. Clearly taken from The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This website was an early attempt at crowdsourced knowledge. Somewhat overshadowed by the later Wikipaedia. A description of the history of H2G2.com is given on that ...


38

In-universe the "light fantastic" is an actual, factual thing. There was no real need for the torches. The Octavo filled the room with a dull, sullen light, which wasn’t strictly light at all but the opposite of light; darkness isn’t the opposite of light, it is simply its absence, and what was radiating from the book was the light that lies on ...


35

It is a punning reference to the phrase ‘trip the light fantastic’, which means (per The Phrase Finder) To dance, especially in an imaginative or 'fantastic' manner. The phrase seems to arise from the works of Milton, in Comus he wrote, as you have already seen, Come, knit hands, and beat the ground, In a light fantastic round. And in L’Allegro Come, ...


25

Watership Down is a real place in Hampshire that just happens to sound as if there is some connection to water. (image by Loganberry of Wikipedia; public domain) It's not a fictitious name invented for the book; it's an area near where Richard Adams lived as a child: The title refers to the rabbits' destination, Watership Down, a hill in the north of ...


21

It seems to have been the editor who proposed the title, and the author didn't like it much. The original suggestion seems to have come from Fitzgerald's editor and friend, Maxwell Perkins: I always thought that "The Great Gatsby" was a suggestive and effective title, -- with only the vaguest knowledge of the book, of course. But anyway, the last thing ...


14

It's intended to be ironic. In his preface to the second edition, Lermontov criticises the readers who - like you - took the title at face value and interpreted it to mean Pechorin was really being modelled as a hero: The preface to a book serves the double purpose of prologue and epilogue. It affords the author an opportunity of explaining the object of ...


13

As Aurorar0001 says, Watership Down is a real place name in Hampshire, England. The following comments are meant to shed some light on the origin of this place name. The second part, Down, is a noun and here has a meaning similar to 'hill'. To quote the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a down is "an undulating usually treeless upland with sparse soil — ...


11

As @yannis and @Valorum have said in the comments, the play's original title Three Blind Mice had to be changed because there was an earlier play with the same title. Yannis shared this information from the official Agatha Christie website: The story was adapted from a radio play, Three Blind Mice, written for the Royal family in 1947. The stage play had ...


10

The Hindi title "विध्वंस" (transliterated as "Vidhwans") means "catastrophe" or "destruction". I am not too familiar with Urdu, but Google Translate says that "Tahreek-e Khair" means something like "good step", as in, a "step in the right direction", which is reasonably close in meaning to ...


9

Note that the translation of the opening of the prayer in the King James version and the English Book of Common Prayer is: Lord, now lettest thy servant depart in peace and "depart" refers originally to the death of Simeon. It is traditionally used as a night prayer. In literature it is often quoted as part of a reference to death, or to a ...


8

In Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen, it's claimed that: The original title of Hugo's work was Notre Dame de Paris, making no mention of the disfigurement of Quasimodo, highlighting that the cathedral itself, rather than Quasimodo, was to be the central character. […] The shift in emphasis towards Quasimodo as a main ...


8

The final choice to make "A Moveable Feast" the title was made by Hemingway's fourth wife, Mary. It was supposedly suggested by Hemingway's friend, A. E. Hostner. While the Hemingway quote is certainly the source of the title, the phrase "A Moveable Feast" clearly predates Hemingway. It originally referred to a Roman Catholic feast not associated with a ...


8

We don't know very much about the life of Thomas Malory, but it is clear that Le Morte Darthur draws on French sources. For example, in "Capitulum tercium" (in the version printed by Caxton, which is available at the University of Michigan), Malory writes (emphasis mine), Soo in the grettest chirch of london whether it were Powlis or not the Frensshe ...


7

You already know what H2G2 stands for, and that it is a type of acronym to avoid having to write or say the whole name. I think you are asking why the acronym is H2G2 instead of HHGG, which is the same length so there is no additional economy being made here. The numbers 2 indicate repetition. The practice probably comes either from mathematics (algebra), ...


7

The light that Pratchett refers to is Octarine. This is defined in the Discworld books as the eighth colour of the spectrum and the colour of magic. "The Colour Of Magic" itself being a title of another book in the series. This is fantastic because its existence is part of the Discworld fantasy universe. Pratchett is very fond of such puns and ...


7

In Korean, the story is called 호랑이와 곶감. I would personally go with the translation: “The Tiger and the Dried Persimmons", but this isn't the exact translation. First, I’ll address the food, because it’s simpler. In Korean, it's called 곶감. There are actually four types of persimmons enjoyed in Korea, but I'll just explain the two types. Regular persimmon ...


7

There are a couple reasons: first and foremost, the term “Tiger Mother” was already in common use, particularly among Chinese-Americans to describe the kind of parenting style that Chua writes about in her book. Second, is that in English, “Tiger Mother” has Tiger modifying mother and describes a mother with the attributes of a tiger (the term is a bit ...


6

The new title spoils the minimalist effect of the poem. Firstly, for reference, the text of the poem itself is simply this: so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens. Now, I found the actual article by Neil Easterbrook which you and Wikipedia are referring to. (That link goes to a JSTOR page, where you can't ...


6

Did Fitzgerald himself come up with the title? I believe so. I disagree with the claim that it is likely that Maxwell Perkins, Fitzgerald's editor, came up with the title. We have the correspondence between Perkins and Fitzgerald, and it's clear from this correspondence that Fitzgerald was unhappy with the title. Also, Perkins is certainly the first person ...


6

Just for clarity, I believe the intended meaning of "savantism" in the poem title is not related to "Savant Syndrome" or terms such as "idiot savant" and "autistic savant", concepts that I believe emerged in the field of psychology towards the end of Whitman's life. I think the savantism of the title more likely refers to the cultivation of learning and ...


6

There's a substantial body of evidence that the title "Songs of Innocence" points to the fact that the poems were intended to be sung. In the article William Blake and the Music of the Songs, Kevin Hutchins outlines several pieces of evidence for this: The romantic period sought to draw on the historic connection between music and poetry. As Hutchins ...


6

I'm wondering if the claim you heard was a conflation of a few things. I could find two sources online stating that the title of Why Didn't They Ask Evans was something Christie overheard. The first is this IMDB review from 2013, which claims: The title of the book actually came from a conversation Ms. Christie overheard coming out of a movie theater, and ...


6

Mamet seems to have not been referencing a song itself so much as an aphorism derived from its presentation on items of crockery. He relates the origin of the play's title in the Chicago Tribune in 1989 Finally, on a hunting trip in East Texas, Mamet got the title for his play. ''We were at a forge, watching a friend of mine pound out the steel for a ...


5

A key theme of this poem is conflict, or perhaps the gap, between the actuality of nature, our perception of it and the frustrations and disconnects that result from our attempts to describe it with our limited language. A couple of early examples expressing these themes: Between branch and spire - the word Belittles its nest, and the seed, rocked By ...


5

The choice of the translator is likely to be their interpretation or possibly even a regional colloqualism to deliver the spirit of the original. I have a comfortable working knowledge of several Western European languages but was stumped when I started doing business in the Baltics and Balkans. The negative use a more complex nuance (or perhaps simply ...


5

WARNING: this answer may contain spoilers! The author has actually explained this himself on his blog: I got a lot of grief from trusted advisers over the title of WOOL, back when it was just a single novelette and no one had read it. My science fiction professor and friend Adam Griffey told me it was a dumb title. As did a good friend of mine in my ...


5

Originally, what follows was a section of the question. However, at the suggestion of Gallifreyan, I've migrated it to this answer. It's quite long, and it includes works by others as well as a little original analysis of mine that I've done for the case of Easy Rider. Summary of the research conducted so far 'Book titles and their articles' by Leszek ...


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