RE: I Heart Huckabees

From: Lars Kristan (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2005 - 03:17:44 CST

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    Peter Constable wrote:
    > If you look at the title shots in the film and in the
    > trailer, and look
    > at the advertising spreads (even on the IMDB page), you'll
    > see the title
    > uses the heart icon. But you're right, the "textual" title in IMDB is
    > different -- someone decided the heart icon couldn't be represented in
    > text and so put "heart" in instead -- at least, everything seems to
    > point to that in my mind.

    There are two issues involved:

    1 - Why did someone decide to use ASCII text instead of the heart symbol.

    Two reasons, one is that not all protocols support Unicode, and the other is
    that the heart symbol may be pronounced differently by different people and
    a 'spelled-out' version resolves ambiguity problems when the title needs to
    be pronounced (radio, TV, talking about it).

    You might also ask yourself, which was first - did they decide the title to
    be with the symbol, and only then resorted to text for the above reasons, or
    was it the other way around, in which case the symbol version is only a
    marketing trick. But the two are probably very interconnected, so the whole
    thing is a marketing trick, or even the plot itself. I haven't seen the
    movie, so I cannot say anything about that.

    2 - Why was "heart" chosen over "love".

    Interesting question. I think using "heart" to read the heart symbol is
    'spelling it out'. One uses spelling either because one wants to emphasize
    how it is usually written, or when one wants to detach from the possible
    interpretations. A similar case is using '+' which can be either "and" or
    "plus". I would say that the "+" is only a symbol for the addition, but
    nowadays typically replaces the word "and" when describing addition. But the
    difference is more obvious when 'adding' people, like in juvenile
    "John+Jane", which is really "John and Jane" but would still typically be
    spelled "John plus Jane". Actually I can't say that for English, but in my
    language that is true.


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