Ask Mar­i­lyn

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Healthy - By Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant —Larry C., North Palm Beach, Fla. —John Hurd, Navarre, Fla.

When watch­ing cur­rent tele­vi­sion shows and re­cent movies, I have a hard time un­der­stand­ing what the ac­tors say. But when I watch a movie from the ’30s or ’40s, the di­a­logue is per­fectly clear. What’s up with that? Movie­go­ers of all ages who pri­vately won­der why they often don’t know what’s go­ing on when they watch a film may be re­lieved to know that this un­com­fort­able phe­nom­e­non is the fault of mod­ern direc­tors. They some­times be­have as though com­plex spe­cial ef­fects and mu­sic, etc., are just as im­por­tant as the di­a­logue, even more so in ac­tion films. The idea is that the movie should be a sort of im­mer­sion ex­pe­ri­ence for the viewer.

And then there’s the im­prove­ment in am­pli­fi­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy, which al­lows them to crank up the vol­ume with­out dis­tort­ing the sound. So it’s not you, read­ers! No, you’re not dull-wit­ted nor grow­ing deaf. Try watch­ing an old film for re­as­sur­ance. Even Mar­lon Brando fa­mously mum­bling his way through On the Wa­ter­front (1954) is easy to un­der­stand. But The

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)? For­get about it!

Here’s a puz­zler for you: Say you catch a fish that weighs five pounds plus half its weight. How much does the fish weigh? What do you think, read­ers? The an­swer ap­pears be­low.

Send ques­tions to mar­i­lyn pa­ pounds! 10 An­swer:

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