Thursday, February 21, 2008

Trilogy minus one

The Man asked me today what you call two movies or books that go together. If there are three, it is a trilogy. So what do you call it when there's two?

I answered,

"Oh, two is a – "

And then my brain went completely blank. The Man waited for me to answer, and when I didn't he laughed at me.

"You're supposed to be an English teacher!" he said. "If there's a word for three movies there must be a word for two!"

"Pair!" I said, desperately. "Duo! Couple! Duet! Twin!"

That was a bit annoying, so when I got home I looked it up.

Two connected works of art = duology or dilogy
Three connected works of art = trilogy
Four connected works of art = tetralogy

And so on. (The list is here.)

Now I feel a little better about not knowing. Have you ever heard anybody call two connected movies a duology, or dilogy? Even if they did, you'd suspect them of making it up, wouldn't you?

I would, anyway.

5 comments:

Carrie said...

I've never heard of a dilogy. It doesn't sound real. I am well versed in the word duology, mainly b/c I read a lot of fantasy so you have to know that word.

Keera Ann Fox said...

The Man would find The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy frustrating: It consists of five books.

Roy said...

I think, perhaps, that the second work, if not good, goes unnoticed and the first work is usually considered by itself. But if good, the second work is normally followed by a third, due to greed. Godfather II, for example, was excellent, but we were saved from the dilogy by Godfather III, which, though it largely sucked, appears to have stuck in popular culture due to that certain squeamishness regarding duologies. It's a philosophical full-circle.

I really enjoyed these fourteen most recent blog entries of yours, which by the way made the entire first page of your blog a sort of literary "cuboctahedron." (I Wikied it.)

kenju said...

No, I had never heard that and I would have thought it was made up. Thanks for teaching me something today.

Lulu said...

I have never heard of either of those words...I would of said sequal though?

I have occasions like that all the time. I forget English words alot and sometimes only the Japanese words will come to me! It is frustrating!!!!