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JUMP BACK | BE FORWARD

I was looking up Denis Leary's biography at IMDB (don't ask why) and I came upon what must be the most obliviously perfunctory phrase in the history of written English:

After a childhood in the 1960s, Leary went to Emerson College in Boston, where he tried his hand at acting and writing.


Now, earlier in the biography, we were informed that Leary was born in 1957, which pretty much gives us all the information we need to figure out that he had a childhood in the 1960s. It really doesn't need to be further commented upon. The placement of an adjective -- any adjective -- before "childhood" would have helped this clause avoid complete pointlessness: "impoverished", "happy", "robot-afflicted". But instead, all we learn is that Denis Leary, in common with every other human being on the planet born in the late '50s who did not subsequently die before their fifth birthday, had a childhood in the 1960s.

Well-played, IMDB mini-biographer Jack Witzig. Well-played.

Comments

mckennl
Dec. 22nd, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
But during what decades was Leary a teenager? It's unclear.
calamityjon
Dec. 23rd, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
"After his childhood in the 1960s and during his teenage years in the 1800s, Denis Leary was unstuck in time. BONG."

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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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