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January 29, 2008

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I like the way in which Swansberg typographically distinguishes the different uses (clever use of : , ? . ! : ...)

It's a metaphor for both the inability of men to express intimacy directly and for the wealth of inflection that compensates for that inability. Check out the palace victory scene at the end of Dune when Kyle McLaughlin has just utterly demolished Sting, using his unamplified voice as a weapon. Everett McGill (Stilgar), his one-time trainer, expresses his awe with an emotive outburst of McLaughlin's warrior title: "M'ah D'ib!", that could probably best be translated as "Dude! What a big one you've got."

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