Familiarity breeds contempt

This is an English idiom that means

when we become more familiar with people, we learn about their faults or shortcomings and are more likely to find reasons to criticize them.

It can also mean

when we get too used to something, we no longer find it respectable or interesting.

I found several different translations in Japanese, and I think this is an interesting idiom to think about language and cultural differences.

  • 慣れは侮りのもと
  • 親しさは侮りを生む
  • 親しき中にも礼儀あり
  • 心安いは不和の基

But the reason I was thinking about this idiom today is because of something I stumbled upon. It’s a visual representation of movie posters and how they all seem to follow a handful of similar patterns. Here’s the first batch, and a few more.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 8.30.14 AM

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 8.30.34 AM

Today’s writing/speaking prompts:

  • Which of the Japanese idioms above do you use? In what contexts?
  • Do you think these movie poster cliches are the same in Japan? Find a collection of Japanese movie posters and see if you can find similar (or different) cliches.
  • Find some posters of movies you’ve seen that don’t conform to these cliches.
  • Choose one or two of the cliches and pick out the movies you’ve seen. Try making a movie poster of that movie using one of the other cliches.
  • I thought of this blog post title because my first reaction was, “Well, that’s disappointing. It means there’s really not much thought or creativity behind the movie poster business.” What do you think?
  • Can you think of other advertising cliches that we are accustomed to?

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