Vexicon: Quadrilogy

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Vexicon: Quadrilogy

Vexicon is a term that I coined a while ago to describe the body of words, phrases and language structures that irritate, annoy or perplex the damn hell out of me. Like a lot of people who maintain a blog, I suffer from a somewhat heightened sensitivity to the words wot we use. The contents of my vexicon, then, are those combinations of letters that invariably cause me neuro-linguistic palpitations and a bad case of irritable vowel syndrome.

I was browsing the Interwebs during my lunch break at work today when I noticed that Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is now available for pre-order from Amazon. For one reason or another this was the first Indy flick that I never got around to catching at the cinema, so no doubt I’ll buy it when it comes out and add it to my monstro DVD collection.

I also noticed that there’s going to be a new Indiana Jones DVD box set that’ll include Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but I’ve already got a box set containing of the first three films so I’ll be skipping on that. Now, I’m well aware that the new Indy film received a fairly mixed reception from critics and the public upon release. Some claimed that the film’s title itself was part of the problem, saying it was cumbersome, ungainly and had far too many syllables. Even it’s abbreviated form – IJATKOTCS – was accused by some of looking suspiciously like an anagram of something you could catch from a toilet seat.

Just to clarify matters, I wasn’t one of those people. If anything, I’m rather fond of cumbersome, ungainly film titles that have far too many syllables. No, I didn’t have a problem with the film’s title. What I do have a problem with is what they’re calling the new DVD box set.

They’re calling it The Indiana Jones Quadrilogy.

Not ‘The Indiana Jones Saga’ or even ‘The Indiana Jones Legacy’… no, it’s ‘The Fucking Indiana Jones Quadrilogy‘. Yes, Quadrilogy. It really is a grotesque word. To paraphrase an old insult, if your dog looked that ugly you’d shave it’s arse and teach it to walk backwards.

It’s not a proper word, of course. Something like that could only be spawned in the fetid bowls of some Hollywood marketing department. I imagine the filthy, denatured committee of bright young things who first coined the term probably got a nice fat bonus for their efforts. Of course, if a sequence of three films is a ‘trilogy’ then a sequence of four should really be ‘quartet’, but these little bastards always know better. “Market research tells us otherwise,” they’ll claim. “If you package a lucrative franchise property like the Indiana Jones, Alien or Die Hard series’ as a ‘quartet’, a significant percentage of our target demographic will perceive this as a threat to genre convention. There’s a very real concern amongst Middle Americans that Indy, Ripley and John McClane will pull out a pair of violins and a cello and do a Vivaldi recital.”

Bill Hicks was right about these people.


About the Author:

My name is Tom Lennon and I'm a freelance writer who specialises in humour at the geekier end of the pop culture spectrum. I'm based in Birmingham, UK, and my work has recently appeared in BuzzFeed and Time Out.


  1. Russ L August 27, 2008 at 1:17 am

    I cannot express just how much I sympathise.

    The word ‘tetralogy’ exists. The goons take condescension to a new realm in assuming that people won’t be able to tell what it means.

  2. Tom Lennon August 27, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    I know… maybe I’m pining for halcyon days-that-never-were, but I’m sure there was a time when a sizable chunk of media output contained all sorts of proper words that I hadn’t heard of before. Back then, when faced with such a predicament, simple eejits like me used to look things up and maybe find out something new.

    I got to know a lot of words that way.

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