Shades of meaning get [intentionally] confused sometimes

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/03/17 03:01 -05:00, original URI:

So I was talking to Cathy yesterday just before leaving work. And I mentioned how it was probably not true that people could really detect an infinite number of emotional, psychological, and moral shadings, as I could not the tell the difference between a Winchell and a Lippman.

(the former allusion was to a quote from Leslie Stefanson from the movie version of Nelson's DeMille's The General's Daughter:

The human eye can distinguish 15 or 16 shades of gray. A computer image processor can distinguish 256 shades of gray, which is impressive. More impressive, however, is the human heart, mind, and soul, which can distinguish an infinite amount of emotional, psychological, and moral shadings, from the blackest of black to the whitest of white.

and the latter was from Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. And to be as cynical about the press as Jubal Harshaw is as to not be able to know the difference between Walter Winchell and Walter Lippmann DOES mean one has a dim view of the press!)

Cathy took a different tack and suggested that she couldn't even tell the difference between a Winchell and a Krispy Kreme.

I wondered aloud how one could mistake a gossip columnist for a doughnut.

At which point she reminded me that these days the name 'Winchell' is much more likely to represent Winchell's Donuts than the columnist.

At that point I was tempted to bring this very cross-eyed conversation into an even stranger but perhaps more relevant place by pointing out that Lippmann was seen by many as the moral and ethical antithesis of Noam Chomsky.

But I decided it made more sense to just go home and try again the next day, given that the references were already getting a bit too confusing to keep track of....

# bmm6o on 17 Mar 2006 7:22 PM:

The only Lippman I know is Stan (who's at MS now, IINM).

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